Joseph Reassures His Brothers!
But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said.
So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.
But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
Genesis 50:15-21 (NLT)
After the burial ceremony in Canaan, we’re told all returned to Egypt. But, on the way back, the brothers realized that in the chance that their powerful brother Joseph still held a grudge against them for their offenses against him in the past, their father was no longer a hedge of protection against any revenge. Obviously, they STILL didn’t understand the condition of Joseph’s heart.
When they confronted Joseph with their worries, he gently and mercifully assured them that he not only had no intentions of doing anything but caring for them, that in fact they were but instruments in the hand of God as was he. Wow. I pray that God will make me like Joseph, that I can fully understand that the offenses committed by others upon me could ONLY happen if God allowed them.
How often I have looked back upon the trials and sins of my own life, and realized that the blessed place God has led me to could NOT have happened any other way than the way it did. Now, if I can just feel that way for the unresolved things… things that still hurt, things that I still can’t make any sense of, that only God knows why it was necessary.
What a blessed life were Joseph’s remaining days; he lived to see his own sons grow and mature, to see his grandchildren born and mature, and to see his great-grandchildren born.
When the Bible says that a child was born on someone’s knees, as it does here, it simply means that those children were considered that person’s own: sometimes symbolically, other times it was literal. In this case, it just meant that Joseph was still the leader of his clan, and those children fell under his familial authority.
Understanding God’s Purpose
When we face difficult situations, we should ask God to help us see some divine meaning in these experiences.
Steps To Realize Fulfilled Vision
The life of Joseph powerfully displays God’s sovereign ability to bring to pass His destiny for an obedient individual. In his youth, Joseph received a vision of God’s plan for his life. Shortly thereafter, it appeared that not only had the vision died, but that his life would have wasted away in slavery and prison.
Nevertheless, Joseph remained faithful to God. That which had been meant for evil, God used to prepare and position His servant to realize the fulfillment of His vision for Joseph’s life.
Trust in God’s sovereign providence. He causes all things to work for your good, as you remain faithful to His calling and purpose for you.
To Be Continued…