"Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph" (Gen. 45:3). Previously he had spoken to
them through an interpreter, but now in their own language he said, "I am Joseph."
When Joseph disclosed his identity, "his brethren could not answer him; for they were
troubled at his presence" (v. 3). They had reason to be troubled and terrified. Joseph
was standing before them as one who had risen from the dead. They could not think of
what to say, because any act of self-defense would surely only bring them into deeper
Joseph recognized their hesitation and said to them, "Come near to me, I pray you. And
they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now
therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did
send me before you to preserve life" (vv. 4-5).
Joseph told his brothers that the One responsible for his coming to Egypt was "not you
… but God" (v. 8). This is a truth we desperately need to see—that God moves behind
the scenes to accomplish His purpose in our lives. For the Christian, things are not
explained on a human basis—it is "not I, but Christ" (Gal. 2:20). It is only as we allow
God to test, try and train us that He can accomplish His overall program and use us as
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17).