It took three days for them to get to Indy. My Texas-retired parents got on the road when my due-date drew near. My dad had a plan. He would follow us to the hospital when the time came. He and Mom would be our back-up, our security…to make sure nothing bad happened. We had been married six years and it was our first child. But Dad continued to hover over us whether we liked it or not. I’m not sure my husband like it at all. But it was always that way. All I had ever known. Incredible security. Even years later, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, my parents drove all night to get to me. They were always there. Committed, adoring parents who did everything they could to protect me and to provide for my needs. Their love was obvious, though often overboard. But family support was the name of their game. I grew up never knowing anything different. As an adult, I began to understand their incredible gift…the power of family support.
Read Genesis 45:16-19
1. Describe how Pharaoh and his officers reacted when they learned Joseph’s brothers had come. Why do you think they were so generous?
Read Genesis 45:20-24
2. What detail seems important to you in the way Joseph distributed provisions and gifts to his brothers?
3. What do you notice Joseph told his brothers when they left. Why do you think he would say that to them?
4. How did Jacob first respond to the good news?
5. What convinced him the news was true? Compare Jacob’s reaction here to his state of mind in Genesis 42:38.
After years of grieving, Jacob’s spirit was revived by the good news. The son he presumed dead was now ruler of Egypt. Joseph wanted his father, brothers, and families to move close to him. He provided for their journey and loaded them down with gifts to show his love. He would protect and provide for them. He would make sure they wouldn’t starve in the remaining years of famine. This once estranged, needy family would experience grace personified. Life would be different for them in Egypt. Their long-lost brother, whom they had hated, would be their ruler too. But Joseph did not want to lord it over them; he longed to lovingly support his father and brothers. He had all the power needed to take care of them forever. Joseph would be there for them. He was their family support.
Have you experienced that kind of support? Sometimes we long to be independent and go it alone. But how beautiful it is to know those you love are there for you. Our family has experienced some heavy trials in the last couple of months. But each one has come alongside to provide what’s needed. From sitting all night in a hospital to praying fervently together, we know the wealth of family love. Be there for those you love. There’s not a greater gift you can give than your support.