I spent the day with my family today at my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday party. There is no doubt that these are some of my favorite people in the world. Happily, we do not have the family drama that say- Jacob’s family does. I don’t need to tell you that the more you love a person, the deeper they can hurt you. So it’s no surprise Joseph weeps five times in as many chapters over his brothers. Several years have passed, Joseph is Bill Gates successful, and seemingly moved beyond his painful past and then his brothers show up.“He turned away from them and began to weep…” (42:24)
“…Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep…” (43:30)
“…And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him…” (45:2)
“Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept…” (45:14)
“And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them…” (45:15)
Between this story and Jacob’s reunion with Esau, I’m getting the message loud and clear: forgive. When I was a rotten little tween, somebody pointed out that so often we’re most unkind to the people that love us most in the world and it really resonated. Someone should have mentioned this to the Israel brothers ten plus years ago, right?
Here’s the other thing I can’t not mention. How funny is Joseph to send his brothers on their way and jokingly (???) remind them, “’Don’t quarrel on the way!’” (45:24). In other words, “Don’t throw Ben down a well just because he’s obviously my favorite and I gave him a donkeyload more stuff than you!” I mean if you can’t rib your sibs, who can you rib?