sexta-feira, 18 de setembro de 2015


I am your brother Joseph,
the one you sold into Egypt!

Genesis 45:4 (read 45:1-21) – NIV

This story is one of the most beautiful in the Bible! Joseph had a fantastic insight into the operative forces in his life and had a compassionate heart. He was in front of those who had hated him and had done everything possible to destroy him. Now the fate of those villains was in his hands. But he broke the vicious cycle of repaying evil with evil. He saw God's hand in their wickedness and forgave them.

According to Genesis, Joseph, along with his great grandfather, Abraham, his grandfather, Isaac and father, Jacob, were part of a lineage of the people chosen by God to be a blessing to all peoples of the earth. The first three generations took care only of themselves without worrying about the world. Only in the fourth generation, Joseph thought of the welfare of others.

Joseph was the person in the Bible who most fulfilled the mission to become a blessing to people outside of his own clan. He came to govern one of the greatest powers of the ancient world, Egypt. He was a good administrator and saved not only the Egyptians but the neighboring peoples as well and without resorting to war or other violence. Other great leaders of the Old Testament acted only on behalf of the people of Israel. The task of being a blessing to other peoples was fulfilled in Joseph more than in any other before or after him.

As a boy, Joseph was vain and pretentious. He wore out the patience of his brothers so much that they got rid of him. But with the bitter experiences of life, he learned humility and compassion. He developed the ability to see beyond his immediate circumstances. He saw the hand of God even in the bad things. With this view, instead of feeding anger and revolt, he could cultivate gratitude and be a blessing.

"I am your brother Joseph" are touching and miraculous words. Even with all the evil committed by his brothers he continued to consider them as brothers. One of the frustrations in politics is that power corrupts. Joseph went from being a common prison inmate to occupy the highest office in the country, second only to the king. He did not become corrupt. Had the power to do what he wanted, but he opted to act out of compassion!

To have the same spirit of dedication and compassion as Joseph it is not necessary to occupy high social positions. It is rare that such a spirit leads to promotions. In all walks of life there are people who need to hear someone say "I am your brother." This attitude can open the door of redemption for many people, victims of themselves and of others. To be a brother or sister to someone could make us into a blessing in his or her life. This is our mission.



Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’

“You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

“You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”
So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey.

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