Gen 41.55-57; 42.5-7,17-24; Ps 32; Matt 10.1-7
We make an enormous leap in our first lesson today. No longer is Jacob the centre of the story, but Jacob’s penultimate son, Joseph. And no longer are we in the land promised by God to Abraham and his seed forever. The scene has shifted to the land of Egypt, a land we are told is suffering from famine.
Read the intervening chapters of Genesis (29-40) to understand how all this came about, and how Joseph came to be the Pharaoh’s minister. Remarkably Pharaoh told his own people ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you’! The famine extended beyond Egypt to the lands of Joseph’s family, and his brothers travelled in search of food. They evidently didn’t recognise him, but he knew them at once. He understood their language, but they couldn’t understand his.
Joseph had been greatly wronged by his brothers, but when he saw them he wept. Over and over Genesis presents us with brothers at enmity with each other. Here we are presented with the first glimmers of reconciliation. In a remarkable way these brothers are being offered not only the will but the means to cast out the evil spirits that have come to inhabit them.