A Coming Flood
And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, … “God be gracious to you, my son!” Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep.
I have no doubt Joseph’s wept many times over the past years— when his brothers threw him into a pit to die, when Judah sold him to slave-traders, when Potiphar threw him into a dungeon, when the chief cupbearer abandoned him. Yet, this is the first time we see him weeping in the biblical record, and that’s meaningful. To the inspired author, this weeping marks a crossroads. Joseph’s past isn’t back there anymore; it’s right before his very eyes. And I think Joseph sees himself in his little brother here. One glance and it all comes flooding back in a surge of sensations: the innocence, the banishment, the long-lost years. And all he can do before bolting for the nearest exit is cry out, “God help you, my son!” Which, translated, means, “God, help me!”
Friend, God gives us something far better than an account of the stages of Joseph’s grief. He gives us an account of the stages of Joseph’s forgiveness. And these tears are just the beginning.