Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
45 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
When we read the narrative of the story of Joseph in the scriptures, we see the faithfulness of Joseph and how the Lord had His hand on His life. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, thrown into prison because of false accusations, yet in Genesis 45 we see him as second in command over all of Egypt! What an amazing story. However, what gets overlooked often is the story of reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers; particularly his brothers choosing to receive the forgiveness offered by Joseph.
Imagine the place Joseph’s brothers were in after finding out not only that Joseph was alive but was doing really well! We see their response in verse 3. They could not believe it. I can also imagine the emotions that were running through their minds and hearts at that moment. They probably felt ashamed and broken for what they had done. The rush of memories of that day 13 or so years prior came back to their mind. However in the midst of that we see the man of God offer up forgiveness for their transgressions! He tells them to not be distressed because God is good. What they meant for harm at the moment, God used for good and now he was in a position to help provide for them in the midst of the famine! Joseph’s brothers deserved to be shamed by Joseph for what they did, but they instead received mercy and forgiveness! That sounds familiar doesn’t it?
The Bible tells us that we too were given what we did not deserve. Because of our sin, we deserve death, but instead because of Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross, we have received forgiveness by repentance of sin and faith in Jesus. Hallelujah! However, what happens from time to time is we willfully choose to reject the forgiveness that has already been given to us. For some because of their past they do not believe they deserve the forgiveness offered from the Lord, so they choose to walk in shame and in the weight of what they have done. For others, they have wronged someone and though they were offered forgiveness, they refused to take it.
The enemy can dupe us into believing the right thing to do is to choose to reject forgiveness. In reality though all we are doing is choosing bondage. The bible tells us our sins have been forgiven as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12). The Bible also says that the Lord is willing and able to forgive our sins when we confess them to Him (1 John 1:9). When we choose to reject forgiveness, what we are doing is cheapening the finished work of Jesus! Instead, let us choose to receive forgiveness by running to the Lord and asking Him for it, and then choosing to let go and move forward. May we choose to be like Joseph’s brothers today and receive the forgiveness that has been offered to us and walk in freedom!
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and forgiveness! Help me to be an active recipient of it. I know I will fail at times, but help me to run to You for forgiveness! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Thessalonians 1:2: We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly[a] mentioning you in our prayers