Finally. We reach the climax of the story in Genesis 45! But let’s look back at chapter 44, specifically at Judah.
Judah, being very much in the background of Joseph’s narrative, has quietly undergone a dramatic transformation. Remember… it was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to the slave traders (37:26-27). And don’t forget Judah’s gross negligence of Tamar back in Chapter 38. But, he repents of his wrongdoing in vs. 38:26. And from this moment, the writer of Genesis portrays Judah in a positive light… In chapters 42 & 43, we see a contrast between Reuben and Judah. Reuben tries to persuade his father to let Benjamin come back to Egypt with them to buy grain, but Jacob does not listen. It is Judah that is able to convince Jacob to entrust Benjamin to him. And now we see in vs. 44:18-34, Judah’s impassioned speech before Joseph to spare Benjamin. Judah finally looks like the one through which the legacy of the Savior will pass!
After Judah’s speech, Joseph could no longer control himself. Imagine the scene as Joseph sends all Egyptians from the room and announces to the stunned men that he was Joseph, their brother. In the ESV bible translation, it reads that the men were “dismayed.” More like terrified. Remember – Judah had just finished begging for Benjamin’s life – and now the brother that he betrayed reveals himself – and He. Is. Powerful…. VERY POWERFUL. They had to be terrified.
Isn’t this a beautiful picture of the gospel??? Our sin betrays us in the presence of God. We should be terrified, but instead we find GRACE! …So did Joseph’s brothers…
So Joseph said to his brothers, …and now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. …So it was not you who sent me here, but God.
Who sent Joseph to Egypt? :-) Yes, God. Joseph recognizes the terror of his brothers, and he comforts them.
Jesus does the same with his disciples in Matthew 14. It is the familiar passage of Jesus walking on the water. But just think of the emotions of the disciples. They had been in a boat, battling a severe storm for 9 hours (according to the ESV Study Bible). They were exhausted, and they thought they saw an evil spirit. They were TERRIFIED. But just the sound of Jesus’ voice brought them complete comfort. The storm didn’t go away, but his presence brought them peace.
Where there is much grace, there is peace. There is peace in the presence of Jesus. The disciples found peace that night.
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”