By Mary Vee
Joseph stepped back slightly from the balcony edge as the guards came into view with his brothers. Their heads are bowed. They aren't struggling to get free. This isn't what I expected.
He turned as their footsteps echoed in the corridor. Then a knock. "My lord, we've brought the thieves."
Joseph shook his head. There is no way they've changed. My brothers sold me into slavery. They only care about themselves. I must be strong--yes strong--and save Benjamin from them. He can live with me here. They'll probably cheer when they leave. He balled his fist and raised his chin. "Bring them before me."
The guards shoved the Hebrew men into the room as they wood any group of criminals. They stumble but regain their balance. Without a signal all eleven brothers bowed to the floor before the governor.
Joseph folded his arms and scowled. "What deed have you done. Did you honestly think a man such a I would not know you stole my private cup?"
Judah raised his eyes slightly. "What can we say to you, my lord? What could be our defense to clear our names?" He shook his head and sighed. "God has found our sin. Here we are, your slaves, both we, and the one with whom the cup was found." Judah lowered his head to the floor.
"Oh, No." Joseph raised his hand. "Far be it from me to keep all of you here. The only one to be my slave is the one who had the cup. As for the rest of you, leave. Leave in peace and go to your father."
The guard grabbed Benjamin and pulled him to the side. He signaled the brothers to get up. Judah turned to face the governor. He pressed his hands together and took a deep breath. "O my lord, please, let your servant speak and do not let your anger burn against me, for you as powerful as Pharaoh."
Judah retold the who story of what Joseph asked them to do from their first visit to this time. At the end of his testimony Judah looked at the governor and bowed his knees. "Now therefore, please let me stay instead of the boy as a slave to my lord and let the lad go u with his brothers. How can I go to my father if the lad is not with me and risk seeing the evil that would come to my father?"
Joseph's heart boomed in his chest. He cares about Benjamin! He cares about Father! He looked at the other brothers to see what their faces showed. They've huddled toward Benjamin. Their faces, they truly care about him.
How can I bear this pretense any longer? I must tell them who I am. "Guards. Servants. All but these eleven men--leave this room at once."
"Yes, my lord." The brother's eyes grew wide as they found themselves alone--alone with the governor.
Joseph couldn't hold his tears any longer. Tears fell down his cheeks and his body sobbed. He cried so loud the whole household heard. The eleven brothers looked at each other and cowerd toward the wall.
"Come near," Joseph spoke in perfect Hebrew. "Do not be afraid. I am Joseph. Is Father still alive?" His brothers stayed back toward the wall. They don't believe me. "Please come near."
Judah signaled them to walk to the governor. Joseph took a deep breath and wiped tears away. He held his arms out toward them. "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold as a slave. Don't be angry with yourselves because you sold me here because God sent me before you to preserve life. God sent me before you to preserve food for you and your families that the Hebrews might continue to live on earth."
Many years had passed since his brothers had seen Joseph. He had changed. He wore Egyptian clothes, he became a governor, he spoke the Egyptian language. The brothers had no idea this man was Joseph. What do you think they did when they found out?
God took care of Joseph all these years while he lived in Egypt. Life was difficult for him, but the survived. God gave him the knowledge and skills to organize a program to store food for the famine.
God has a plan for you as well. How has God taken care of you this week?