“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. 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 45:1-8)
Good morning. How many times in your life has someone done you wrong? Now, how many times have you forgiven their wrong? Too many of us hold a grudge against the many wrong-doers in our lives. We fail to realize that it may be part of God’s will: we may need to be hurt, so we will not hurt others. Look at what Joseph said, “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.”
God had a bigger reason for allowing Joseph to be sold as a slave in Egypt: bigger than satisfying the hatred of his brothers: to preserve life. Joseph was able to see this, and forgave his brothers for what they did to him. Sometimes we are not sure of what God is doing, and should be tolerant of those times we are under attack: look at King David fleeing Jerusalem…
“And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.” (2Samuel 16:5-12)
Peter asked “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”, and Jesus told him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Stephen said, before dying from the stones that were thrown at him, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”
Our Example, the Lord Jesus Christ, asked the Father from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Being angry or upset with someone cannot end in anything good, unless it ends with forgiveness. Let’s strive to be a little more tolerant, and forgive as Jesus did. Jesus died for their sins as well as yours.
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 3 comments.