Reading through the story of Joseph, I've always wondered if the Pharaoh knew the whole story. Did the Pharaoh know that Joseph had been sold as a slave by his brothers which changed the course of his life forever? Did he know that even with all that, Joseph had a desire to see his family again? Did he know that Joseph had forgiven his brothers and operated with the understanding that God had brought him to Egypt in order to save many lives? How much of Pharaoh's time did Joseph have to discuss such things? No matter what happened between Joseph and the Pharaoh, we continue to see the high regard that Pharaoh had for Joseph. The verses we are reading today show us that word began to spread that Joseph's brothers had come to Egypt. Please read Pharaoh's response to the news in Genesis 45:16-28.
Verse 16 tells us that Pharaoh and all his officials were "delighted" to hear that Joseph's brothers had come to Egypt. Keep in mind that their reaction tells us how highly Joseph was regarded because we had learned in Genesis 44 that the Hebrews were despised by the Egyptians. They were despised, yet the Pharaoh was so happy to hear of the reunion that he invited all of them to come and live in Egypt. They were not just invited to live in Egypt, but they were invited to live in the best of the land. They were given royal carts to bring back their families and told to just leave everything behind because they were going to be given everything they needed in Egypt. Because of Joseph, the Israelites were saved from starvation and given a new home.
There is so much of God's power in Joseph's story - the power of forgiveness and redemption. Yesterday, I mentioned how Joseph's suffering and coming to a place of honor made me think of Christ's choosing to humble Himself and suffer here on the earth. But this makes me think of how there is still more to that story...more because the story isn't done, yet. We are told in the Bible that because of Jesus's sacrifice, we are made right with God. It is through Christ that God hears of our reunion and invites us to be with Him; He is delighted to invite us into His presence. Delighted! That is why Jesus came to earth in the first place - they wanted us to have a reunion. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:10 (NLT), "In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents." All of Heaven rejoices when just one person accepts the free gift of grace that is given to us through Jesus. God doesn't regret this decision; He rejoices over it! All the sacrifice and suffering is worth it to Him because you are special to Him. He wants to be with us. That is a powerful and transforming truth that we need to remember every moment of every day.
Do you believe that God delights in you? Do you believe that He wants to be with you?
This post is linked with the Grace Cafe and Thought Provoking Thursday.