The story of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt by his brothers, shows us how to give up our grudges in life and to simply forgive those that have wronged us. Like many people who have to go through difficult trials because of what people have done to them, he also didn’t have to love the people that have wronged him, but he determined it was important because God was with him and had His life in His life. Think of all the time that he had already spent in prison, because of what had happened to him, once he got to Egypt, he could have let this affect him, but God’s will prevailed. It was his great faith in God that changed everything. In Genesis, chapter 43 & 44, we learned how Joseph put stipulations upon his brothers before they could have any food or other goods during the famine. While others were free to get what they need to survive, his brothers, whom did not know him yet, were not as privileged. They had to first get their brother Benjamin before they would be considered good people and not traitors. So they did as Joseph requested, but still Joseph had walls up that stopped him from forgiving them in this moment. He even went so far as to hide a silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, before they left, in order for him to also become a servant like he was. So, as you can see here, all this was done because he was acting out, based on what had happened to him. Now, if this ended like this, then Joseph would have been found guilty by God. It doesn’t matter what people do to us, we never have the right to pay them back the same way they hurt us. In saying this, I have good news, in that Joseph did repent before it was too late. This was done by revealing who he really was to his brothers and forgiving them for what they had done. Now, this is where we get to Genesis, chapter 45.
It must have been very hard for Joseph to keep the hard feelings he had towards his brothers, all that time he was in Egypt. He must have talked to God about it a lot, but all those feelings of resentment finally came to a close when forgiveness and mercy was given to his brothers. Though it may have been hard to do this, it was because his faith in God was still strong that it became important. And this is how it all went down, 1“then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud.” (Genesis 45:1,2) He also said, 1“come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:4,5) As you can see here, he did not only reveal himself to them, but forgave them also. He didn’t want anybody to be upset anymore, because of what had transpired in the past, but to know that it was God who sent him to Egypt. This was surely the best part about his forgiveness towards them. He gave God the glory for what happened. And his love shown as 1“he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” (Genesis 45:14,15) It was after this point that Joseph sent for the rest of his family and to have them spend the rest of their lives with him in Egypt. So in the end, we learn a valuable lesson here. Forgive others as God forgives you. Don’t just tell people how the Lord loves them, but show them that same love.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that all our grudges will be cast aside today. May there be no more feelings of resentment in our hearts any longer towards those people that have wronged us. I know that it is hard to forgive someone that has hurt us so badly, but I also know that we do things that hurt you so badly and we also wish Your forgiveness. So I pray that we will not be so willing to ask for Your forgiveness when there are still walls up in our lives. Instead, look into our hearts now and if there be any ill feelings towards anyone, allow Your peace to take its place. And if relationships are broken, because feelings were hurt and wrong things were said, may we also follow the Holy Spirit and come to these people and tell them sorry. It may be hard to say sorry or tell someone that they are forgiven, but it is always worth it. And best of all, there is rest in Your great love that comes from doing this. Even broken lives can be restored because of our trust in You and not what our flesh wants to do. It is truly a blessing to just trust in You, Lord and showcase Your love and kindness to all people. When these same people, that we forgive react positively to our love toward them, everything changes for the better. What I have learned Lord is that when I just do things by Your will and not mine, that everything works out for the good. And most of all Lord, I am so grateful for teaching me what it means to forgive. It is Your great love, mercy, and forgiveness towards me that has changed how I treat all people now. May I ever learn to love as You love me, each day of my life. This type of compassion is what I need in my life also and what I need to show people to be happy. It is because, seeing people happy is true joy. I love You Lord. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Genesis 45 (KJV)
1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.
13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;
18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is your’s.
21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.
23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.
24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,
26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.
27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:
28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.