We have come to a turning point... an end to Jacob's life.
And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father. Genesis 50:14
But it is what happens next that is most surprising...
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said,
“Perhaps Joseph will hate us,
and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”
So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying,
“Before your father died he commanded, saying,
‘Thus you shall say to Joseph:
“I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin;
for they did evil to you.”
’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.”
And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Genesis 50:15-17 NKJV
It has been 39 years since that day...
when Joseph's brothers threw him in the cistern and then sold him to the Ishmaelite caravan passing by.
And it was 17 years ago that Joseph sent for their father Jacob and the whole family to come... to live in the best land in Egypt... and there they had possessions and they grew and multiplied exceedingly.
Even then, Joseph showed them by grace, they were forgiven.
In all these many years, Joseph has never shown anger, or unforgiveness.
And now, he weeps.
For his brothers still do not know the depths of grace that has been given.
They do not understand that Joseph did not do it for his father... He did it for them.
Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me;
but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day,
to save many people alive.
Now therefore, do not be afraid;
I will provide for you and your little ones.”
And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
When I read this, it struck me like never before...
Oh, that we could understand the grace of God!
If only we could grasp the forgiveness that we have also been given!
For so many of us wander through life, just like Joseph's brothers...
we call ourselves Christians... and we are. But many of us for years have settled in, just like Joseph's brothers, accepting the offer of Jesus... but somewhere down in the depths of our soul, we still believe that there is this part of us that does not deserve the forgiveness that He died to give us.
Not for FREE... not really. Not for us.
Because somehow, we don't deserve it.
Sometimes, we just hang onto our guilt,
just like Joseph's brothers...
and Jesus weeps... yet He comforts us, and speaks kindly to us.
Somehow it's so much easier to see the forgiveness in a story from afar; when it's someone else's life, for someone else's sin. But we struggle to believe that what we have done can so easily be forgiven...
How can it be that God could just give us love like that, after all that we have done? Could it truly be so simple... truly be so free?
Word of God... train me, today
to realize the my God is big enough, faithful enough, and generous enough to love me and forgive me freely of all my sin.
Before we leave this wonderful man, Joseph,
consider how his life, in many ways
is prophetic of what we see in the life of Jesus...
loved by father
hated by men
betrayed and sold
silent of complaint
risen to rescue
Joseph, like Jesus...
speaks words of kindness and
weeps over our disbelief.
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