Genesis 50:18-20; Romans 8:38
Last time we saw how Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused by his master’s wife, and then forgotten in prison by many who’d promised to help; but God had not forgotten him. Eventually, Joseph was released from prison into the service of Pharaoh himself; and he ultimately found himself in the most powerful position in the land, second only to the Pharaoh himself! It was then that a terrible famine hit the region; but because of his relationship with God, Joseph had been able to warn Pharaoh to prepare in advance for the failure of the crops. In fact, Joseph was placed in charge of directing all the preparations for surviving the famine.
As a result of Joseph’s wise actions, Egypt had a great surplus of food stored up, so much so that Joseph’s own family came down to Egypt in search of food. Not realizing who he was, his brothers came before Joseph to plead for help, bowing themselves to the ground before him. Though Joseph recognized them, he kept his identity hidden. Two more times over the next two years, the brothers appeared before Joseph, each time bowing low before him as they pled once more for help. On their third visit, Joseph could contain himself no longer. He revealed himself to his brothers, welcoming them and eventually his elderly father Jacob to come settle in Egypt to survive the remaining years of famine.
When their father Jacob died, the brothers feared that Joseph would feel free to take his revenge on them. They falsely claimed that their dying father had asked that Joseph forgive his brothers. When he got the message, Joseph actually wept out of compassion for them. He understood they were acting out of fear. They had done him such harm, but he knew that they had not been able to rob him of his destiny!
Genesis 50:18 tells us: “His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.” Once again, God’s promise to him all those years ago as a dreaming child was fulfilled! His brothers bowed before him. And how did Joseph treat them? Did he say, “Throw them in prison till they pay all they owe! Did he refuse to forgive them and withhold his mercy? No! Verse 19 and 20 declare: “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
I am not sure you realize this, but if it hadn’t been for Joseph his family would have starved to death. And this was no ordinary family! Jacob’s family was the family from whom the Jesus Christ the Messiah would eventually come! No wonder Satan had tried to destroy them all!
You are God’s beloved child. No wonder Satan would like to see you destroyed too! But as Paul tells us in Romans 8:38: “… neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The reality is that we often don’t have a choice about what comes our way in life. But like Joseph, the choice we do have is how we will react to it. Will we forgive as we have been forgiven? Will we trust God to be just and to work His purposes through it all?
No matter what happened to you in the past, you cannot be robbed of your destiny as a child of the Living God! No matter what you have suffered at the hands of others, God can use it all for great good if, like Joseph, you trust Him and learn to forgive! The Lord has given you a testimony to share so use your story for good – to bring others to healing and to accomplish the saving of many lives!
May God bless you!