14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.”NIV

The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land” (30).

Here are just a few more thoughts on Joseph’s seeming harsh treatment of his brothers.

In Jeremiah 6:14, God utters this complaint against the prophets and priests at that time:

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

Sin is a serious issue, and it must not be treated superficially. Is this, then, the explanation for Joseph’s conduct? F.B.Meyer seems to think so. Listen:

‘He spake roughly, but he did not feel so. When he had spoken in these harsh tones, he restored their money; turned aside to weep (24); and did his best to alleviate the toils of travel. So sometimes God seems to deal harshly, and speak roughly; but there is no change in the tender love of his heart. It costs Him immeasurably more than it does us. Often when some unusual severity has been evinced, if we could but see his face, it would be full of pity, pain, and pleading on our behalf. He feels yearnings over us which He restrains, and dares not betray until the work of conviction is complete.
He spake roughly to awaken conscience. It had slept for twenty years…There must be repentance and confession before God can take us to his heart. We must confess the wrongs done to our Brother in heaven and our brothers on earth; and many of the roughnesses of God’s Providence are intended to awaken us, and bring our sin to remembrance…’

God knows that, ultimately, our repentance is for our comfort and joy, and He will do what is necessary to bring about deep healing.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your love demonstrated in the difficult experiences of my life.