Posted in Bible Study

Forgiveness and Focus: Joseph

Maybe I can get back to writing.

The story of Joseph in Egypt is a beautiful story that reveals many truths. At this point in the story, Joseph is a leader in Egypt when his brothers come to him for help without knowing his identity as their brother. It had been twenty years and much had changed. Joseph waits a few minutes to reveal his identity but when he does it is worth the wait. There is forgiveness towards his brothers and praise for God within his words.

Genesis 45:1-11

1 Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace.

“I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them.“Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.[a] So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser[b] to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

“Now hurry back to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. So come down to me immediately! 10 You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. 11 I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.’”

When his brothers came to him, Joseph had two choices: forgive or harbor resentment. In the world’s eyes he had every right to harbor resentment; his brothers had thrown him into a pit and then sold him simply because they were jealous of his coat and father’s love. Thankfully Joseph chose forgiveness even though his brothers had committed major wrongs against Joseph. Corrie ten Boom says “forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” Joseph chose to put aside his feelings about the past and forgive his brothers even though he was in a position to harm his brothers.

It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives….God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! Genesis 45: 5, 7, 8

20 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. Genesis 50:20

In the midst of a tough situation, Joseph not only forgave his brothers but also gave glory to God. He mentioned three times to his brothers that God was the one in charge of everything. Joseph could have blamed his brothers for everything, but part of forgiveness is recognizing how God moves through every situation. Joseph fixed his eyes on God rather than looking at his current situation.

Colossians 3:1-2

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

So as you move through this life, remember to look for God in every situation. Be quick to forgive people as you realize that holding resentment only detracts from God’s glory. Keep your eyes focused on God rather than on the hurts of this world.


2 thoughts on “Forgiveness and Focus: Joseph

  1. Cathy, I love getting your posts & seeing your insights from your Scripture reading & your experiences.

    I know you’re excited thinking about upcoming family gatherings, graduation, & whatever opportunities God has planned for you with the BCM & your substituting.

    Sending you our love!

    Marilyn Iddings (270) 969-0359

    Sent from my iPhone


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