When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” (Genesis 50:15-17)
Even though Joseph had made provision for them and their families and even though hugs and kisses had been exchanged between them, the brothers were still concerned that Joseph may exact his revenge now that Jacob was dead. The Bible tells us that they sent a message to Joseph, through emissaries, saying that Jacob had given instruction that Joseph should forgive them of the evil they had committed against him. While there is no record of this instruction, it is reasonable to think that Jacob would have wanted this to be the case. It is plausible to think that he was eventually told what had happened; in fact, knowing this may influenced his prophecy to each of them.
Now, notice how the Bible describes Joseph’s reaction to their message; it says, “Joseph wept when they spoke to him” (Genesis 50:17). Perhaps it was the thought of his father leaving this instruction to his favored son that prompted the tears. It could also be that Joseph was saddened that his brothers still didn’t accept that he had forgiven them. In other words, it could be that their lack of trust in what he had told them previously provoked him to cry. If so, then yet again, we see Joseph’s story connecting to Messiah.
The shortest verse in the Bible is found in John’s Gospel where it says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). What prompted tears to fill Messiah’s eyes? Some would say it was because He was grieving over the death of his friend Lazarus. But if He had come to raise Him from the dead, that wouldn’t make much sense. It’s more reasonable to think that His tears were brought on by the fact that those around Him were distraught and unable to trust in what He had just told them — “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
My point is that, while we understand that God takes notice of our tears, how often do we stop to consider that, apparently, the Creator can be moved to tears on our account? It would seem that His heart is troubled when His people doubt His promises to them. Let’s be honest, sometimes we doubt that He has truly forgiven us; we sometimes doubt that He will heal us or that He will restore our children to us. All of this doubt fills our minds in spite of the fact that He has promised to give us the gift of abundant life.
Certainly, there are bound to be disappointments in this life but we mustn’t doubt that, once He has spoken to us, we can rely upon His Word. This truth is going to be very important to remember and to embrace in the days ahead.
Blessings and Shalom,