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Joseph: The Redemption of His Brothers

Genesis 42-44

This is the seventh sermon in a series on the Life of Joseph. In the first six sermons, we focused on Joseph, on what God was doing in his life. This week, we change our focus to his brothers and look at God working in their lives to bring them from their sin to redemption.

Joseph’s Brothers: Twenty-some Years Earlier

The last we saw Joseph’s brothers, when Joseph was still a 17-year-old boy at home, they were wicked men. Two of them had massacred an entire town out of vengeance. Another had slept with his step-mother. And a fourth had hired a prostitute who turned out to be his daughter-in-law. They could not even speak peacefully to Joseph. They planned to kill him. And they ultimately sold him as a slave. They were wicked.

God is at Work in Their Lives

Something seems to be happening to the brothers. The first hint we have is their reluctance to go to Egypt. Could it be that they are experiencing guilt? That seems to be the case when they find themselves before the governor of Egypt (whom they do not realize is their brother, Joseph). When he falsely accuses them of being spies, they focus more on their past guilt than they do on their innocence if those specific charges. That is very unlike the men they had been years before.

Their Character has Changed

Although their father, Jacob, does not like it, they are forced to bring their brother Benjamin back to Egypt. At a dinner, Joseph (still unknown to them) recreates the circumstance from twenty-plus years earlier. He honors their little brother over them. As a youth, Joseph had been honored by their father over them. He had received a coat of many colors. And they wanted to kill him for it. Now, Benjamin was honored by receiving five times the amount of food that anyone else did. Would they treat him like they had Joseph? No! They we happy for him and drank and were merry with him.

Listen to the sermon to see how God worked in the lives of these men to bring them from their wickedness to redemption.