GOD'S TRAINING METHODS
Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph!
Is my father still living?"
But his brothers were not able to answer him
because they were terrified at his presence.
The emotional climax to Joseph's story was this sudden revelation to his brothers. They had thought Joseph was a horrible, terrifying tyrant because he had treated them like strangers and scared them to death. Even though he had left them many clues, they couldn't imagine any kindness hidden under his hostile appearance. But then he came straight to the point. Without using an interpreter, he said, "I am Joseph!"
This story is a beautiful example of how God treats his faithful people. He sometimes punishes us and acts as if he weren't our God and Father. Sometimes he even appears to be a tyrant or a strict judge who wants to torture or even destroy us. But at the right time - when he is ready - he will say to us, "I am the Lord your God. Up to now, I treated you as if I wanted to reject you or send you to hell, but it was only an exercise I use to train my people. I never would have trained you this way if I didn't love you from the bottom of my heart."
In this Bible story, God shows us the training methods he uses with his people. This should comfort us. We must get used to the way God tests and instructs us. We should also humble ourselves so that the horrible evil called original sin may be restrained. God doesn't want to condemn or reject us, even when our suffering an punishment nearly destoy and kill us. Rather, he wants to sweep away the sin that clings to us. Only then will we understand what God means when he says, "The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up" (I Samuel 2:6).