After their father’s death Joseph’s brethren lost their peace, and fear seized upon them. They judged Joseph according to the thoughts of their own hearts, thinking that, after all, he would requite them for the evil they had done unto him. Again Joseph wept when they came confessing their sin to him, and again he told them he would care for them and nourish them (Gen. 50:21). This loss of their peace showed they had not increased in the knowledge of Joseph himself since he had made himself known unto them, for had they done so they would never have harboured such wrong thoughts concerning him. And it is just this which explains the unhappy condition of soul which sometimes overtakes older believers. They may have gathered up a great deal of knowledge concerning various things, but the knowledge of God’s Son—of their Lord and Saviour—has been neglected.
Peter, in his second Epistle, speaks of idleness and unfruitfulness as regards the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of one having “forgotten the purging of his former sins” (2:9), but he closes with an exhortation to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. This will keep the heart and mind in perfect peace. Joseph had told his brethren it was God and not they who had sent him to Egypt (45:8), and God had done so in view of their salvation. And now again he lets them know that he was fully aware that they “thought evil,” but “God meant it unto good” (50:20), to bring to pass the salvation of much people. Beautifully prefiguring our Saviour’s love, Joseph’s WAS AN UNCHANGED LOVE; and he said, “Now therefore FEAR YE NOT: I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”