Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Genesis 45: 4-7
as i read this i am so impressed by joseph and his attitude. remember his BROTHERS sold him into slavery – a potential death sentence, but a life sentence of sorrow and hardship at the least. and this time for joseph also involved prison. not luxury accommodation. not an easy life to live. yet he extends grace and welcome to his brothers and honour towards God, who is ultimately in control. he is aware that his journey has resulted in the salvation of his people, that his position as prime minister means he is responsible for the survival of his family and nation. and that that positioning was orchestrated by God.
it takes great faith and faithfulness and surrender and submission to God to have this attitude.
How many times in the 22 years since he was sold into slavery by his brothers did Joseph fall to his knees and beg God to know the answer to a question often on all of our lips: Why? As he sat in the pit…why God? As he worked as a slave…why God? As he sat in prison… why God? And now, looking back he can see the fingerprints of God on his life story. The master’s hand cared for him and guided him to this point so that he may care for his family. Joseph could just as easily been vengeful or bitter. I think many people would be. He could have been smug and callous toward his brothers. But he choose to see this moment as the answer to his prayer “Why?” and not be blinded by his circumstance.
But you have to look for the answers. It’s easy to be blinded by bitterness and be angry at God for all the bad things that happen to us. If the first step in healing is asking God “Why?” then the second step is to learn how to wait for his answer and then see it when He shows you. Joseph had to wait 22 years yet he remained faithful to his Lord. I believe God will always show us the answer to our question in His time, when the answer is complete. Until then we must place our hope in the Sovereignty of God.
It’s like watching a great composer create a new masterpiece. We see notes being inked out one at a time and often they don’t sound good in of themselves. Then we see a phrase and the hint of a melody. Then at least we hear the full score being played and it takes our breath away it is so perfect and beautiful. The end result is what was always in the masters plan… that is why He is the master. youversion note
many people would turn their backs on God and reject Him, be angry with Him, feel unloved and rejected themselves by God.
but Joseph didnt. perhaps he had moments, late at night, in the darkness of his cell, where he prayed and wept and was overwhelmed by his circumstances.
but at this end point we see that he had processed through his feelings and that he had reconciled himself to knowing that God is God and God is GOOD and he honours Him and shows commitment and surrender to His ways. Joseph’s circumstances went from bad to worse as he went down into Egypt and yet he recognized the sovereignty of God even in the negative circumstances.
take the opportunity of the prison to pray.
take the opportunity of the prison to be transformed.
take the opportunity to surrender.
because sometimes the prison is the path to the palace and in the palace God requires men and women of God who live for His name and fame and will be obedient to His will.
Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him. Genesis 45:14-15
what a moment of reconciliation. for all of them. i wonder if any of the brothers had pondered about where joseph was, if they had sleepless nights worrying about him and regretting their actions. i wonder how it affected their own lives, if they were in a prison of guilt and a slave to their past. i wonder if they dreaded ever meeting their brother again and how he would react to them. but joseph kisses and embraces. weeps and forgives. how amazing is that. its obvious that joseph has spent time dealing with any feelings of anger and resentment and rejection and has forgiven his brothers well before seeing them in person.
dont let something fester inside us – if joseph had carried onto any bitterness or forgiveness he may have rejected his family and allowed them to return to israel and perish. bitterness destroys. forgiveness continues the cycle of hurt and hurtfulness.
"Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." Corrie Ten Boom
SIX REASONS TO FORGIVE
1. We are commanded. In our obedience, God is honored.
2. It brings healing.
3. There is reconciliation in forgiveness.
4. We imitate Christ.
5. Sets us free from burdens we were not intended to carry.
6. We take away a foot hold from Satan.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
How do we forgive when we don’t feel like it? How do we translate the decision to forgive into a change of heart? We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete. I believe God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job), by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord’s job), is done in our hearts. @ about christianity