The Big Reveal

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”—Genesis 45:5 (NIV)

Have you ever witnessed a big reveal? Maybe you’ve been to a gender reveal party? Maybe you’ve watched The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader reveals himself to be Luke’s father, caught an episode of Undercover Boss, or read the amazing reveal that the mysterious count is Edmond Dantés in The Count of Monte Cristo. These moments are memorable because they’re the culmination of a significant build-up.

In today’s passage, we finally come to the moment when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers! After Judah’s Christ-foreshadowing plea to take Benjamin’s place, we’re told, “Joseph could no longer control himself” (Genesis 45:1 NIV). He sent all his attendants out and made the shocking revelation, “I am Joseph” (Genesis 45:3 NIV)!

Can you imagine being Joseph’s brothers right now—after brutalizing and selling him into slavery! Similar to The Count of Monte Cristo, where our protagonist sought vengeance against those who conspired against him, Joseph’s brothers surely thought he’d seek vengeance against them. That’s why we’re told, “His brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence” (Genesis 45:3 NIV).

Could you blame them for feeling this way? If I were Joseph, I’d be tempted to make them all—except for Benjamin—experience the same suffering I had. And if I were one of his brothers, I’d be scared to death of the horrible retribution that likely awaited me. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when Joseph says, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5 NIV). He tells them it was actually God who sent him to Egypt by way of their actions in order to preserve them, to save their lives “by a great deliverance.” Isn’t that amazing?

There are two powerful lessons to see in this big reveal:

  1. We can make peace with our past when we see God’s hand in it. Joseph was able to forgive and make peace with his brothers because he saw through his suffering and experienced God’s sovereignty and salvation in it. In all his suffering, he remained faithful because he believed in the faithfulness and promises of God. When we rest on the promises of God and remember He works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, we can both endure trials and make peace with those who transgress against us.

  2. God can use the darkest moments of our lives for the greatest deliverance. There’s no doubt that selling their brother was just about the worst thing they had ever done. And yet, God still used this moment of guilt and shame to bring about the greatest grace and salvation in their lives and the lives of countless others.

DIG: What does Joseph’s reaction to his brothers teach us about the Christian life?

DISCOVER: How was Joseph able to have this perspective about what his brothers did to him?

DO: Is there a trial or dark season you’re struggling with? Ask the Lord to give you a Joseph-like perspective, to see your trials through His eyes, to receive comfort in knowing He is moving and working deliverance in, through, and around you.