Joseph’s family finally arrive in Egypt. There are no more dark secrets in the family. His brothers must have admitted to having sold Joseph when they explained to their father that the son he had thought had been killed was now prime minister of Egypt.
While it may not always be possible or wise to restore relationships, this does not mean that we cannot forgive. We may not be able to hug and weep with our offender, but we may want to voice our forgiveness either vocally or through a letter. And then it is time to let go of pain to the utmost degree we can. Perhaps some pain will always remain, but at least we can be on the path to healing.
Read Genesis 50:15-21. What are Joseph’s brothers worried about, and why would they be worried about it? What does this fear say about themselves?
Joseph’s brothers had been living in Egypt for seventeen years (Genesis 47:28), and yet, when Jacob died, they were afraid that Joseph would take his revenge. They realized again how much they had hurt Joseph. Joseph reassures them of his forgiveness again, now after their father’s death. This refresher was probably good for Joseph, as well as his brothers.
If the wound is deep, we will probably have to forgive many times. When memories of the wrong come to mind, we will need to go to God immediately in prayer and make the choice to forgive again.
Read Genesis 50:20. How does this verse help explain, at least partially, Joseph’s willingness to forgive his brothers’ sin against him?
Joseph firmly believed that his life was part of God’s big plan to help save the then-known world from famine, and then to help his family fulfill God’s promise to become a great nation. Knowing that God had overruled the evil plans of his brothers to bring about good helped Joseph to forgive.
|Joseph’s story had a happy ending. How do we respond when the ending to a story isn’t so happy? Or, could one argue that (long term, that is) with the end of sin and the end of the great controversy, when all issues are solved — it will be a happy ending? How might this hope help us deal with less-than-ideal endings?|