Genesis 43:1—45:15: Family Reconciliation
What makes reconciliation possible? What elements are necessary on each side of a hurt or wrong to heal a damaged relationship? This study provides answers to these crucial questions. Joseph's brothers have now returned home from Egypt with a report of their traumatic experience. As the grain purchased on the first visit to Egypt runs out, Jacob and his sons face increasingly difficult decisions. Although our experience may be less traumatic, we can learn principles of reconciliation from this complex family situation.
Warming Up to God
Why does it seem so hard to freely accept God's forgiveness? Today, let yourself rest with confidence in the truth that God's forgiveness covers over every one of your sins. Jesus forgives you now.
Discovering the Word
- As Jacob instructs his sons and takes the risk of losing Benjamin, where does his confidence lie (43:11-14)?
- What insights do verses 26-34 of chapter 43 give us into Joseph's character?
- The stage is now set for the climax of this drama (chapter 44). What final strategy does Joseph devise in verses 1-17?
- Judah's appeal is one of the great intercessions in the Bible. How does his attitude differ from that shown by him and his brothers twenty-three years earlier (44:18-34)?
- How does Joseph explain to his brothers the reason for his being sold into Egypt and the purpose of his sufferings (45:1-11)?
Applying the Word
- Think of a difficult situation you are currently facing. How can you entrust it to God Almighty, the one for whom nothing is impossible?
- Restoring a relationship fractured by injustice and injury requires repentance, confession and acceptance of responsibility for the consequences. In what way have you, like Joseph's brothers, been involved in such a process?
- How can this perspective toward your own suffering make it possible for you to forgive someone who has grievously wronged or hurt you?
Responding in Prayer
Think of one step you need to take to encourage reconciliation with someone you know. Ask God to give you the love, patience and courage to follow through.