Read Gen 46:29 - 47:27
29Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.
30Israel said to Joseph, "Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive."
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.' 33When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, 'What is your occupation?' 34you should answer, 'Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.' Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians."
47:1Joseph went and told Pharaoh, "My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen." 2He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh asked the brothers, "What is your occupation?"
"Your servants are shepherds," they replied to Pharaoh, "just as our fathers were." 4They also said to him, "We have come to live here awhile, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants' flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen."
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock."
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8Pharaoh asked him, "How old are you?"
9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers." 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.
11So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father's household with food, according to the number of their children.
13There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh's palace. 15When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, "Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up."
16"Then bring your livestock," said Joseph. "I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone." 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, "We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19Why should we perish before your eyes — we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate."
20So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh's, 21and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.
23Joseph said to the people, "Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children."
25"You have saved our lives," they said. "May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh."
26So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt — still in force today — that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh's.
27Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. (NIV)
We skip a bit ahead in Scripture to pick up Joseph settling his family into the land of Goshen in Egypt. And this picture of Joseph is again a glimpse of Christ and his relationship with us. We see this in the treatment by Joseph of the people of Egypt and his own family. In this we see the difference of the world and the difference of God.
During the years of abundance, Joseph, representing Egypt gathered up the excess grain and stored it. It does not say whether he took it or paid for it, but if it was bought, then it was bought at a low price as there was abundance. When the famine came, Joseph sold back to the people he took it from at a greatly higher price. This is what the world does to people. It does not really care about people.
But the way Joseph treated his own family was different. And when we are with God, becoming part of God’s family, he treats us different. God loves all, but he treats those who follow him differently. When we look at the difference, we see the things God does for us.
Joseph knew the land and he picked out a good place for his family to live. In this act, we see the words David would later write in Psalm 23, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness.” This is what Joseph did for his family. He lead them to a place of rest and where they could grow. He guided their actions. Like the work of the Holy Spirit, he gave the words to his brothers to speak to Pharaoh. Words that they could speak both truthfully and without fear.
Jesus told his disciples not worry if they were to stand before authorities. In Matthew 10:19-20, we find these words of Jesus; “do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Joseph gave the words to speak.
And we see that while all of Egypt was put into a sort of bondage to Pharaoh, the family of Joseph grew in both prosperity and numbers.
We can seek the way of the world or we can see the way of God. We must learn to live trusting that God will see us through. We see that in both Joseph’s life and the life of his brothers, there were times of uncertainty, time they did not know what would happen next, but they continued to trust God. We must learn to have that same faith.
Have you learned to trust God in uncertainty? Does it get easier as you grow in your faith or does it get harder?
I hope you have enjoyed this study of Joseph and you learned a thing or two about God’s love for you.
Blessings and Peace