Much to think about this morning from Genesis 50:15-21. I am deeply impacted by the failure of Joseph’s brothers to deal with their sin and their inability to receive forgiveness.
In going back over the story, I do not find any confession or acknowledgment of their wrong doing until here in chapter 50. Argument from silence? But, for 17 years they had lived in Egypt (47:28) and yet they still feared the revenge of Joseph. (Reminds me of the sad, sad story of King David in 1 Kings 2:1-9) Did they make up what Jacob said? They seemed to minimize even in their confession (avoiding the words sin and evil in their confession to Joseph) and seemingly trying to manipulate him by saying we are servants of your father Jacob and we are your servants. Had they ever talked about their sins of envy and anger?
Well, I have times of obedience in this area but in one relationship, I know I have yet to fully acknowledge my wrong doing to the other person and that is where God is speaking to me.
With regard to Joseph, once again I am amazed by his view of God in these verses and summarized so well in 45:4-8, “you sold me but God sent me.” Actually, he says God sent me three times. His gracious attitude reminds me of the Prodigal Father in Luke and of 1 John 4:18, perfect love casts out all fear.” I want this view of God, this perspective that allows me to see God at work even in troubling circumstances.
Finally, I am challenged by the forgiveness of Joseph–sometimes I say I forgive but I don’t really want to bless the one who has hurt me, much less comfort and speak kindly to them as did Joseph to his brothers.