Stunned into silence 

Old Testament: Gen 45.3

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 44–45 on January 19, In the year of our Lord Christ 2022

By Don Ruhl 

Joseph’s brothers had not seen him in 22 years. The last time they saw him, he was 17 years old and dressed as a shepherd. Later, they faced him when he was 39 years old and dressed as an Egyptian, speaking Egyptian. They did not recognize him. 

The ten older ones had mistreated him badly, wanting to kill him, but instead sold him into slavery in Egypt. Then they stood before him and after he treated them roughly, he listened to a speech by Judah, which softened the heart of Joseph. Then this happened: 

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.

– Genesis 45.3 

Joseph shocked his brothers. They did not believe that they would ever see him again, and here he was second only to Pharaoh, and he had obviously done very well. They knew now why he had treated them roughly at first, as he tested them to see whether they had changed. 

They had already bowed before him, just as his dreams had prophesied. He held their lives in his hands. No wonder they could not answer him! No wonder they were dismayed in his presence! 

However, not only did they know of his success in Egypt, but they did not know what a godly and good man he had become. 

Questions: 

  • How would you have reacted? 
  • How have you treated those who have mistreated you? 

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