Have you ever felt the need to forgive someone, but for some reason you held back? Joseph of Egypt did this for a few days while his brothers were in Egypt. However, after some time, Joseph could not hold in his feelings any longer. This is that encounter. It reads, “then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.” (Genesis 45:1-4) Joseph’s brothers probably thought that Joseph was either dead or if alive, would never forgive them for what they did. However, to there surprise, Joseph did forgive them, which must have really shocked them. They would have never guessed that Joseph was now high up in the Pharaoh’s house. His dreams happened just has he said as people kneed before him.
This story of forgiveness continues with Joseph telling his brothers, “now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 45:5-8) This story is much like my own with my step father. He abused me and my brother while I was growing up and there were many hard feelings over time. However, I was in a church one Sunday and saw him there also. It was then that the Spirit came over me and said to forgive him. This is when I walked up to him and said hi, while giving him a big hug. It was while I was hugging him that I told him that all was forgiven. He even teared up when I said this. This only lasted a moment, but I will never forget it. All the resentment was removed and replaced with God’s love towards that man. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, help us to learn to forgive people at all costs. Tear down every wall that a person may up right now in Your mighty Name, Jesus. Help people understand that Your forgiveness only comes when we also forgive our neighbors. This important teaching is often left out of church sermons, which should never be the case. Not that forgiveness is not important, but that our forgiveness from You is reliant on us forgiving others. I truly wish that pastors and teachers wouldn’t be so timid and just teach this plainly through the Bible. You said this, Jesus, and I believe every word that you say. You are my Lord, my King, and my God. I want more of You in my life than anything else the world can offer me. Take me now and do what You will. This life is a vapor, but surely I am still able to be used for Your kingdom more than ever before. That is all I’ve ever hoped for. You are my rock and my firm foundation. I am made strong through my faith in You, Jesus. Keep me upright and unmovable in the faith. Don’t let unbelievers and false witnesses lead me astray. Your forgiveness means more to me than anything else. And thank You for helping me learn how to forgive my neighbor. I love You, Lord. Amen.