Joseph spoke harshly to them through an interpreter, so as not to betray the fact that he knew Hebrew fluently. Then he turned up the heat on them, accusing them of being spies, and threatened to imprison them. Joseph played a cat and mouse game with them, now that he had the upper hand.
Now he had the opportunity to ask some questions and find out who was responsible for his trip to Egypt. Perhaps these questions had been gnawing at him for years. He put them in some tense and delicate situations to make them squirm. Under those circumstances, they spilled the whole story in Genesis 42:21-23. Joseph questioned them closely then arranged for his little brother, whom he had never met, to be held in Egypt. Joseph discovered that his brothers had suffered for years living in guilt, since they had mistreated him those many years before. They berated themselves for being so callous to Joseph. Apparently they had relived that incident many times and replayed his distress in their minds until their tortured memories exhausted them.
He discovered that Reubin had actually tried to rescue Joseph from the pit. Joseph heard the entire account from his brothers, perhaps for the first time. Simeon was singled out to remain in prison, while his brothers went home. When the brothers returned, Judah offered to give himself to protect his little brother. What a change in their attitude! They had learned to have love for each other. God wants us to love each other as well.
What will it take for you and I to learn to love our brothers and sisters in Christ? If we don’t love them enough to forgive them, then we will suffer the same kind of tortured mind as Joseph’s brothers. As a matter of fact, God has linked our ability to accomplish the Great Commission with our willingness to love each other (John 13:34-35).
Jesus even said that the priority over worship and offerings is reconciliation with our fellow believers. (Matt.5:24) So what are we waiting for? Life is too short too spend it in bitterness toward our fellow Christians. God can use even those things that have hurt us for our good! (Rom.8:28) Forgive and let God heal your hurts.
- Dr. Darryl -