Here we go.
Joe throwing himself on the floor over his father seems like quite a melodramatic thing to do, but I feel his sentiment poignantly. He just got his daddy back a short time ago when he thought he never would, and now, there's no way he can ever get him back again. That really sucks. I can hardly imagine.
I love the respect Joe gives his father in celebrating him in both a modern and old-fashioned way. He embalms his dad's body, in the manner of his Egyptian lifestyle, but buries him with his ancestors. It's perfect and lovely, and I think God wants us to do the same.
He's not asking us to abandon technology, nor is he asking us to forget his promises. He wants us to blend our lives to be a mixture of tradition and new thinking, and to have one foot here, and one in Heaven.
I think a lot of peoople are under the impression that God wants us to live in entirely spiritual sense. We hear so often the verse about "we are not of this world," and that is very much true. I prefer to look at it, however, as a message about inner strength; our strength won't fail, because it's not a human thing. God put us here for a reason, and I can't imagine that that reason is to spend every living moment longing for a different, eternal life.
Goodness, Jake's funeral had an awesome turnout. Pharaoh sent his dignitaries, and all Joseph's brothers went with him. It would have been a beautiful thing to see.
And then back to Egypt.
Joe's bros at this point are thinking: "well, shoot. Joseph is so stressed with all this funeral stuff, and depressed about dad... What if now - finally - he has us killed for all that pain from so many years ago?" They're essentially walking on eggshells. So, to save their own hides, they send a letter, saying that Jacob's last will was that Joe forgive his brothers.
And when Joe gets it... He cries.
Maybe he was crying because he knew they were lying again. Or was it because he didn't think it possible to forgive them? Perhaps they were tears of joy, simply because he was glad to have his brothers back in his life. The bible doesn't tell us. Feel free to comment with why you think he cried. I love the amiguity of it all.
When he sees his brothers again, he loves them wholly. There's nothing left to forgive - he reassures them, and speaks only kindness upon them.
Can you imagine? That is love. He had so much to forgive, but he forgave it all, and loved his brothers to the very end.
Joseph lives to a ripe old age, and then is buried by his brothers, and embalmed by the Egyptians - not in that over. And it's all beautiful, in a melancholy way.
I'm taking a couple days off from writing, because I have to decide what to read next, and I have to write for a personal project I'm doing with some friends called The Ruth Project. We're learning how to be better women of God.
Thank you so much for reading my thoughts on Genesis. It's been a joy!