This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? Genesis 50:17-19
Rage and bitterness… harden the heart and make the body sick.
What I really love about the story of Joseph is that he was wronged throughout his entire life. He became second-in-command when he was thirty years old. But according to research, he was sold (by his own brothers) to be an Egyptian slave around 15 or 16 years old. He had unjustly suffered 15 years or so, because of what his brothers did to him.
During that time he could have wondered, where is the purpose for me to be alone and separated from my family? Where’s the purpose of being in Egypt? What is really going on God? Why was I incarcerated, if I’m innocent? Why did my brothers sell me off to be a slave anyway?! His brothers caused him so much pain and suffering, and expected Joseph to be angry, bitter and vengeful towards them. When his brothers did come around, Joseph hid his identity and didn’t hold it against them. But Joseph said, fear not. Am I in the place of God?
If you feel like somebody has wronged you so bad that you can never ever forgive them, the Lord is reminding us: you are not God. When we have un-forgiveness in our hearts, we’re basically saying I’m God and I’m holding your actions against you, you are guilty and I am not letting this go. Forgiveness doesn’t justify their behavior, but it pleases God: makes us more like Jesus. When we forgive others we’re saying I am not God and I trust God will deal with you. I am NOT God, He is the just Judge. The Lord has been so faithful to me, that I don’t have it in me, to hate you.
Lord Jesus, today I pray for each of our hearts; may you soften our hearts and help us all release our offenders. May we trust you enough to love others with the same love and kindness you have extended to us. We want to honor you in every way we can, so I pray you touch the hearts who need this message. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.