Even though the story of Joseph and his brothers actually contains a lot of detail compared to some other stories in the Bible, it still leaves me with lots of questions!
At what point did Jacob find out about his sons selling Joseph into slavery? The Bible doesn't actually tell us if he did, but I imagine finding out he was still alive needed a pretty good explanation to go with it. The Bible doesn't give us Jacob's reaction, if he did find out, which I imagine would've been pretty major considering how long he had grieved for Joseph. Unless the joy of Joseph being alive overshadowed the brothers deception?
What did Joseph's servants think of the whole drama with the money in the sacks and the cup? It must have seemed awfully strange!
I would've loved to see the reactions from all the brothers when Joseph revealed who he was!
It was definitely clear from their willingness to sacrifice themselves for their brother (and for the sake of their father) that at least some of them had changed quite significantly over the years. Their hearts had changed.
As we see in our NT passage, that is the key. Often the words we speak and the things we do, reveal the truth about our heart. Not in the little things - it's easy to say and do the "right things" without actually meaning it. But in the big things (like Joseph's brothers being willing to sacrifice themselves) or when we're under intense pressure, our hearts are revealed in our words and deeds.
This is something that is so important to keep in mind when it comes to parenting. Of course, as parents, we want our children to say and do the right things. But rule-keeping doesn't mean their hearts are pure or have been made new by the Holy Spirit - and that is where our true focus should be.
This quote from my devotional resonated with me.....
We don't want to have a home in which outer conformity covers up inner rebellion that goes unrecognized or unchallenged. We long for sincere faith and a humble awareness of our need for God, by his Spirit and through his Word, to give us and our children new hearts, pure hearts, sincere hearts.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 48:1-49:33, Matthew 15:29-16:12, Psalm 20:1-9, Proverbs 4:20-27