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Mike-regarding your question asking if Joseph was playing “mind games” with his brothers, no, I don’t think so and here is why.

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and asked him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus replied, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains."
(John 9:40-41 NET.)

Joseph was trying to get them to admit they were blind; they had to confess to their sin(s). First of all one cannot come to God, to Christ, without first admitting one is sinful, Joseph could not bestow on his brothers the honor of being his brothers in Egypt, with all the honor that would entail, unless they faced their sin. There are two kids of sorrow, a worldly sorrow (a sorrow that says, I’m sorry because I got caught), and a godly sorrow (a sorrow that is truly repentant of one’s behavior. Without godly sorrow, the brothers would not be able to exist in Egypt without becoming a further stench in the nostrils of the Egyptians, who didn’t like Hebrews anyway.

It’s all about character. We can mentally assent and verbally confess we are something that our behavior shows we are not; but unless there is a character change our words will never match our behavior or vice versa. No mind games with Joseph, he was just trying to get his brothers to admit they were “blind.”

Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death.
(2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NET.)

Grace and peace,

I see amazing patience in Joseph waiting for his brothers to tell the truth.

I see myself in this story Mike, when you asked this when speaking of Joseph and his brothers above: Are there times where we go through some hard times - maybe for many years - and in the midst of that, could God be working? Could God's hand and God's plan be moving in the midst of challenging times in our lives?I feel that way alot. I have been working on college for several years, I have a 2 yr degree, and a 4 yr seminary in religious education and 4 years in secular education but have struggled with certification tests..and looking back lately at my last 2 years and 5 year journal entries(I love to journal)! I was attempting to take this test that long ago..praying, hoping and seeking a pass on it, to be just taking more classes, changing my major after completing everything on last major but not getting degree yet bc of this test not being passed. I ask at times, Lord, what did I do, where was it that I went wrong..and I believe, yes, God was there too in my challenging times, moldiing me, keeping me in the palm of His hand..waiting to wow me in his time, in his way, in his glory and the latter is going to be so greatest than the former that I will be so blessed! I just know. :-D be blessed ya'll!

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