Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:
When we last saw our hero, Joseph, he was just lifted out of a pit – only to be forced into slavery in Egypt. Much has happened to Joe since then. He’s been trusted, betrayed, thrown into prison, inquired upon, trusted again and now elevated to a position of high authority. It’s time to exact his revenge on the brothers who sold him out, right?
Sure, Joseph has some fun with his brothers. They don’t recognize him and they really need some food – so they came to grovel for help. Joseph agreed to give them food but then he planted evidence of a theft on one of the youngest brothers. Was he testing them to see if they had turned into fine, respectable men instead of jealous and murderous brothers?
And in our reading for this week from Genesis 45:1-15, Joseph revealed himself to them as their brother. He told them that not only was all forgiven, but also that what they did was necessary for God’s will.
I’m not sure I can look at all the circumstances in my life and say “It had to happen that way for God’s will to happen.” I can often see how things have turned out and also look at the experiences along my journey have led up to now. But I look at the mistakes and the bad times and wonder if I would have ended up where I no matter what the journey had looked like.
Could the story of God’s nourishment and forgiveness have been told without having his brothers do such horrible things when Joseph was young?
Does God get things done regardless of the different things we do on our journey?
What about when there isn't a happy ending?