Many years later, Jacob returned to Canaan. Jacob had twelve sons. And God changed his name to Israel. The land of Canaan, the Promised Land, is still called by his name: Israel.
Out of the twelve sons born to Jacob, he had a favorite! Joseph the favored son, which caused him to be hated by his brothers (Genesis 37), was also a dreamer. In his dreams, God revealed Joseph would rule over his family, to which he was happy to make known. In response, Joseph was so hated by them that they wanted to kill him but the oldest brother, Reuben, rescued him from being killed. So, instead they threw him in a pit. Reuben had hoped to later rescue him from the pit. But while Reuben was away, Judah encouraged the brothers to sell him to the Ishmaelite caravan passing by, “And his brothers listened to him” (Genesis 37:27c). When Rueben returned, he found the pit empty. So then, a mendacious account was concocted to present to their father of how Joseph had met his demise by a wild beast.
Joseph’s journey in Egypt began with being sold as a slave and then being falsely accused and serving time in prison for approximately ten years. But Joseph held fast in his faith. Little did Joseph know his journey would lead to becoming a ruler.
God was redirecting the future of the entire nation of Israel. Joseph was unshakable because his faith was deeply rooted in the invisible, immovable, unchanging God! When it was time for God to do what He planned, He brought Joseph out of prison and gave him a high position, just like He had shown Joseph through his dreams when he was a boy –Firm Foundations, Creation to Christ, Genesis 39-41
Because of a world famine, the day came when Joseph’s brothers knelt before him in hopes of buying grain to save their families from starvation (Genesis 42:6). The brothers did not recognize the man they knelt before, but Joseph recognized them. After seeing his brother, Benjamin, he “hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep” (Genesis 43:30). In time, when Joseph was assured of their care for Benjamin, he discloses – I am Joseph, your brother!
Rather than treating his brothers as their deeds deserved, Joseph explained to them that God was in control of the situation, and that He had used the brothers’ horrible actions to work for good (Genesis 45:3-9). –Firm Foundations
Joseph did not punish them, he rescued them and brought God’s chosen people to live safely with him in Egypt.
One day, God would send another Prince, a young Prince whose heart would break. Like Joseph, he would leave his home and his father. His brothers would hate him and want him dead. He would be sold for pieces of silver. He would be punished even though he had done nothing wrong. But God would use everything that happened to this young Prince – even the bad things – to do something good: to forgive the sins of the whole world. –the Jesus Storybook Bible
God is our Great Rescuer!