By Carolyn Dale Newell
“Now therefore, do not be afraid
, I will provide for you and your little ones.”
And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Gen. 50:21 (NKJV)
Joseph spoke these words to his brothers after the death of their father, Jacob. His brothers were afraid that Joseph would harm them now that their father was gone. Joseph was Egypt’s second in command after Pharaoh, and he had the authority to execute his brothers.
Genesis 37 tells the story of the hatred that Joseph’s brothers had for him. All of them except Benjamin had plotted to kill him. Instead they sold their own brother to some Ishmaelite’s who took him to Egypt. Joseph was seventeen when he was ripped away from the father who loved him dearly.
A famine sent the brothers to Egypt searching for food. Unable to recognize Joseph, his brothers were astonished when he revealed himself to them. He assured them that he was not seeking vengeance. He knew that God had brought him there to preserve life (Gen. 45:3-5).
Joseph not only forgave his brothers, but he provided for them. Isn’t that what God did for us? He forgave us so much, how can we be disobedient and refuse to forgive others? Unforgiveness is a poison used by Satan. Bitterness grows and we do not exhibit the fruits of love, joy, peace and mercy.
In Ephesians 4:31-32, we are commanded: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Has someone hurt you or betrayed you? Follow the Christ-like example of Joseph. You are never more like God than when you forgive.
You have forgiven us so much. Help us forgive others. Cleanse us of any root of bitterness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Gen. 37:1-35.
HIKING THE TRAIL
If you were Joseph, would you be able to forgive the brothers like he did? God has forgiven you so much more. Who do you need to forgive today?
Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.