Come Near To Me, Please
So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:4-5)
There is no shortage of blogs, books, and sermons that use the life of Joseph as a model for Christian living. From not giving up on your “God given dreams,” to fleeing sexual temptation, to being faithful in tribulation, Joseph is like proverbial “Swiss Army Knife” of godliness. However, the primary point of Joseph’s life (and every story in Scripture) is to point us to Christ. To tell us something about what God is like and how He interacts with His Creation.
In this text, Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers. This is a terrifying thing for them. There is a great famine in the land and at the brink of starvation and death they have journeyed to Egypt to buy food. But only to discover that their fate is in the hands of the brother they rejected, betrayed, sold out, abandoned, and horribly sinned against. These brothers are seeing that same weak little boy they sold into slavery, standing right before them as a man with absolute power. The brother they thought was dead by their own doing is very much alive and now holds their collective fate in his hands.
The last words you’d expect to hear are: “Come near to me, please. Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because of everything you’ve done. God sent me to preserve your life.”