“Joseph of Egypt,” by Michael T. Malm
After reading last week about the adversity that Joseph endured, this week we get to experience the joy of his reunion with his family. We can all imagine his joy in seeing his brothers again and learning that they had changed, that they were no longer the men who had sold him into slavery, that they were now capable of far greater courage, integrity, and compassion than they had been previously.
We can also learn from Joseph’s faith that God is in charge, regardless of the harmful decisions other people might make. “God sent me before you,” he said, “to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God” (Genesis 45:7-8). If we really believe this principle, we can be more adaptable and can more easily give things up, believing that God is leading us to better things. See the following blog post: “That They Should Perish Not” – Ether 13:7.
Here are some additional lessons I have learned from this week’s reading:
- The Hebrew word shalom (שָׁלוֹם) appears multiple times in the story of Joseph. It is translated as “peace,” “welfare,” and even “good health.” Understanding the full meaning of shalom can help us better understand the peace God has promised to us (Genesis 43:23, 27-28): How Can I Find Peace?
- We don’t commonly refer to our intestines when describing our emotions, but the word “bowels” in the scriptures conveys the deepest of emotions. When Joseph saw Benjamin for the first time in many years, his bowels did yearn…and he sought where to weep” (Genesis 43:30). Likewise, the Savior has said, “My bowels are filled with compassion towards you” (3 Nephi 17:6-7): What Are “Bowels of Mercy?”
- The Hebrew word paqad (פְקַד) means to number or to count, but it also means to visit. When God tells us that His sheep are numbered, He means that He knows each of us intimately and that He is aware of us and attends to our needs (Genesis 50:24): “I Know My Sheep, and They Are Numbered” – 3 Nephi 18:31.
- Mortal power and influence—gibbor (גִּבּוֹר)—is nothing compared with the power of God—abir (אֲבִ֣יר) (Genesis 49:23-24): What Is the Significance of the Title “the Mighty One of Jacob?”
I’ve also referenced this week’s reading in the following recent blog posts: