Joseph couldn't contain himself any longer. Wouldn't you love to have seen the look on his brothers' faces when it sank in that not only was he alive, but he was the one who had rescued them? And then when it hit them that they had bowed down before him, just as he had dreamed so many years ago? I love that Joseph tells them not to quarrel on the way home — the Amplified Bible adds "over how to explain this to their father."
Picture them practicing on the long trek home: “About your beloved son, remember when we told you he was mauled to death by wild animals? Well, the good news is, he’s still alive. The bad news is we actually sold him to slave traders….”
Joseph’s story is a beautiful picture of the gospel. The very one who saves is the one who they sinned against. In his generosity and mercy, he not only provides for their needs, but lavishes the best of everything upon them.
God does the same for us through Christ. We are the brothers — jealous of others' blessings, acting in anger and spite, covering our mistakes with deception, living a life of spiritual famine that results in greater and greater sin. Remember the story of Judah and Tamar that is inserted in the midst of Joseph's account? It seemed randomly stuck in there, didn't it? But it illustrates how one lie, one sin unconfessed and covered up, grows into something that can easily destroy our reputation.
Kudos to VeggieTales(TM) for the visual of The Fib from Outer Space and the accurate depiction of how lies grow exponentially in their destructive power — but fibs don't come from outer space, they come from our own wayward hearts.
So what do we do with this knowledge? Ask God to show us what is in our hearts even before it shows up as action. Recognize sin for what it is — pride, envy, covetousness, hate, greed, selfishness, lust, arrogance — these are at the root of most sin. Confess them to God and ask Him to give you the strength to turn away from them. Confess them to brothers and sisters in Christ and ask them to pray for you and to hold you accountable when they see sin in your life (and then don't get angry and defensive when they do it).
Turn away; that's what repent means. Replace these with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. What will I do differently today as a result of what I've learned? Spend more of my prayer time in reflection and confession than in supplication.