By Mary Vee
Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years. Each day he saw Joseph brought happiness. He blessed Joseph's two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, blessed his other son's then died at the age of 147 years old. Joseph led his brothers in the journey to take his father's bones back to Canaan. After the funeral they returned to Egypt.
Reuben yanked the last remaining supply sack off the cart. "Simeon. Come here."
"I've been thinking. Now that father's dead, what's to keep Joseph from hating us?"
Simeon glanced toward the city where Joseph lived. "I hadn't thought of that. You're right. He might try to get us back for all the mean tricks we've done to him."
Reuben waved his other brothers over to join the conversation. "Simeon and I think Joseph might cause trouble for us, now that father's dead."
Judah pulled a blade of grass and stuck the tip in his mouth. "Hmmm...with his power, he could do anything he wanted."
"You don't think he'd take away our homes, do you?" Benjamin bit his lower lip.
The brothers shouted out, "He could put our wives and children in prison." "He might turn the Egyptians against us." "He could make us all slaves. "What if he burned our village?"
Asher pushed in front of Dan. "What're we gonna do?"
"Don't worry, we'll figure something out." Judah spit the rest of the grass blade on the ground. "If we go before him, he'll suspect something."
"Let's send a messenger to him." Reuben paused and cocked his head to the side. "We'll have the messenger say, 'Before you father died, he commanded, "Tell Joseph these words, 'I beg you, please forgive your brothers for the evil they did to you."
Simeon nodded. "Good. But we should go before Joseph as well to see his face. Then we'll know what he truly thinks."
"Everyone agree?" Reuben glanced at each of his eleven brothers. "Good. Let's go."
The brothers took a messenger with them and left for the city. The guards recognized them right away and let them pass the outer gate to Joseph's palace.
A second guard at the palace stopped them. "State your business."
"We have a message for the governor."
Moments later the guard led the brothers and the messenger to Joseph's chamber. When Joseph raised his hand to signal approval, the messenger stepped forward.
"Before you father died, he said, "Tell Joseph these words, 'I beg you, please forgive your brothers for the evil they did to you."
Reuben and the other brothers watched Joseph's response. He leaned toward Simeon. "Look! Tears. He's crying." He sighed and stepped forward. The other brothers moved forward with him and joined him in bowing before Joseph. "Joseph, we are you servants."
Joseph walked to his brothers to hug each one. "Don't be afraid. I am right where God wants me to be. You meant to send me here as a mean trick, but God meant your deed for good. He saved many people's lives through the food program I designed." Joseph wiped a tear and smiled. "Don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones."
Reuben raised his eyes and looked closely at Joseph's face. He stared for a moment then nodded. "I believe you."
The other brothers nodded and smiled.
God uses Joseph's life to not only teach Joseph's brothers, but also to teach us. Why did God sent Joseph to Egypt? Did Joseph forgive his brothers? Did Joseph help his brothers even though they did mean tricks to him? What did you learn from Joseph's life?