Forgiveness is often sought after, but often not given. This is because we live in such a broken world and people’s lives are in a mess. If they could just see what they are doing to themselves, they would come to God and allow Him to change their lives. Instead, people are content with living for the flesh, instead of God. These same people have become hard-hearted and have also put up walls when people hurt them. Instead of doing what is right and forgiving those who desire forgiveness, they make excuses for their actions. Now, let me ask you a few questions. What if you had a couple of brothers and because they were jealous of what you had, caused you to get lost and not be able to find your way back home? This would surely be difficult to swallow, but what would a man after God’s own heart do? After finally getting out of the mess you were put in and even making the most of it, you’d have something to think about, especially when you see your bothers again. One choice would be to get back at them or another would be to forgive them. The first choice would be easy, but the second would be more difficult. However, the second would always be the best choice, no matter how hard it is to show mercy for those that hurt us. We forgive others not because the person always deserves it, but because doing this is what followers of Jesus are asked to do. The same way we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness when we sin, we still desire it, especially when trials come. Now, the story I mentioned above is a real story and it pertains to Joseph of Egypt. Because of jealousy, his brothers sold him into Egypt. It was then many years that they would see each other again.
So was forgiveness given to Joseph’s brothers, even after all they had done to him? The question can be answered in Genesis, chapter 50, starting with verses 15, through 21. It reads, 1“and when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Genesis 50:15-21) It was at the time of Jacob’s passing that fear came upon Joseph’s brothers. They didn’t know what he would do with them, now that their father couldn’t help them. So immediately the brothers asked Joseph for forgiveness, and what he did was remarkable, as he wept with them. His brothers then kneeled down before him, while Joseph comforted them. It was his intention to help them from here on out since it’s was God’s will that he was sold into Egypt.
What Joseph did, in forgiving his brothers and showing love and kindness to them, is something we should all do that believe in the Lord God. He was a great example of how we ought to be living out our lives when it comes to people that do harm to us. Now, forgiving people that hurt you may seem difficult now, but the question is, do you want God’s forgiveness when you sin? If the answer is yes, did you not know that your ability to forgive another person is also dependent on if you are forgiven of your sins by God? How can we think God is forgiving us when we can’t even forgive? Jesus did teach on this topic and this is what he said in Matthew, chapter 6, starting with verses 14 and 15. He said, 2“for if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14,15) What Jesus said here is so important to our salvation. The reason being, without the forgiveness of God, we cannot go to heaven. So, first things first are for us to have faith in Jesus Christ, and then do as He says. This includes forgiving other people, though they may not deserve it. We ourselves are in the same boat with God, but our love towards our enemy shows a lot about who we really to God. It shows that we really want to obey Him, by loving Him and our neighbor as ourselves. This shows a great amount of compassion on our end also, which is the same as God will have on us when we sin and need His mercy. Please understand that Jesus is the answer to all our problems. Show forgiveness towards others, while submitting yourselves to Him, and His mercy will be upon you.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, my God, I love You so much. You are so good to me God. Thank You for hearing my prayers and extending Your forgiveness and mercy upon me. Though I don’t always deserve it, after all I have done. You are always so kind as to lift me up when I need You most. You know my heart when I am sincerely sorry and Your mercy is shown. This shows how compassionate You really are towards me and everyone else that submits themselves to You, God. You desire for us all to be saved and be covered by Your blood, that was spilled on the cross. It is just up to us to follow You and do Your will. And in doing Your will, I am also convicted of what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. If I am not as likely to forgive others as You do for me, then I am a hypocrite. My desire to be forgiven by You is not sincere if I cannot forgive my enemies. Your words in scripture have taught me this truth and I pray that I may always forgive those that have hurt me. This might be difficult at first, but Your love is able to break every barrier. You have the power to tear down every wall and that is what I need in my life. Come and do a great thing in my life and others, as my life for You is on display towards them also. It is wonderful to be in Your service God. Doing good to those in this world brings me so much happiness. Thank You for giving me these good and righteous desires. It is because You dwell inside of me that I want to forgive everyone, no matter what they have done to me or others. I love You and trust in You, God. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Genesis 50 (KJV)
1 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8 And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them:
13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
23 And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees.
24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
2Matthew 6:9-18 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.