Genesis 43:24-31: Show, rather than tell.

“24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there. 26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, ‘How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?’ 28 They replied, ‘Your servant our father is still alive and well.’ And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?’ And he said, ‘God be gracious to you, my son.’ 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, ‘Serve the food.’” NIV

‘Very often we move forward with dread into the unknown; but that dread is the child of ignorance. If only we realised that love is waiting for us there, which does not ask for balm and honey, for spices and myrrh, but just for ourselves, how much happier life would become! Lift up your hearts; a feast awaits you!’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.31. An important principle for a story writer to grasp is ‘show, don’t tell.’ We have a fine example of that here. Although, at times, it may have seemed in the telling that Joseph was harsh with his brothers, we get these other glimpses into his heart, and we know that there is more going on than meets the eye. The writer of Genesis doesn’t have to tell us that Joseph loved his brothers; rather he shows us.

Once again we see the brothers at Joseph’s feet, and the point is underlined that the dreams were fulfilled (28). God keeps His Word. We can’t be reminded too often.