9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”
10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
A couple of things stood out to me in today’s short reading, and I could get no further:
• Joseph’s sense of stewardship (9). He recognised his sons as ‘gifts’ and not as ‘achievements’. God had been gracious, generous and good to him. (Note: “…the sons God has given me here” Underlining mine). He did not want to go to Egypt when he was sold there; and there were things that happened to him in the land of the pharaoh’s he would not have chosen. But it was right “here” in Egypt that God had very special blessings for him. His “sons” were among them (see 41:51,52). God can bring good out of the worst bad, and the Cross of Jesus shows this most clearly;
• Jacob’s sense of wonder (11). Don’t we so often find ourselves alongside him, open-mouthed?
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
The Lord repeatedly goes above and beyond anything we anticipated.
(In the conversation of both father and son notice this wonderful God-consciousness/God-centredness. They inhabit God’s world; they live in it, and suffer in it, as men deeply aware of the Lord. They live in Him. He is the ‘atmosphere’ they breathe.)
PRAYER: Thank you Lord, because not only do we see your goodness in the Biblical characters; in some ways, we step into their shoes. Without ceasing to be ourselves, we find we are similarly the recipients of your abundance. We thank you with all our hearts.