“‘God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me — you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come.’” Genesis 45:9-11
We’ve all heard the story — even in Technicolor. Joseph was his dad’s favorite. And as a teenager, he couldn’t help but rub it in to his brothers. They got so jealous that they plotted to kill him, but instead, sold him into slavery (because at least that way, they got some money out of the deal).
Joseph ended up working for a wealthy Egyptian official, was falsely accused of raping his boss’s wife, and then spent over two years in prison. He was only released because of his supernatural gift to interpret dreams, and was miraculously promoted to the position of overseeing Egypt’s finances.
Then one day, in walked his brothers.
Even though he played a bit of a game with them at first, Joseph didn’t avenge his brothers for their murderous, jealous behavior. He had every right to be furious: because of them, he was trafficked, he hadn’t seen his father in decades, and he even went to prison. No one would blame him for wanting revenge.
But in fact, he did the very opposite. He embraced them, saying, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5).
He forgave his brothers, accepted them, and provided for them. Despite everything he had gone through, Joseph acknowledged God’s hand in it all. He gave his brothers the best gift anyone could ever give: love.
Dear God, thank You for how You have loved me. Even when I have rejected You, You’ve forgiven me and extended Your grace and mercy. Help me to show that same grace and forgiveness to others. Amen.
Joseph’s forgiveness and grace points us to the One who loves us perfectly and sacrificially. Have you forgiven and loved those who have wronged you? Take time to examine your attitude, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you as you love those hard-to-love people in your life.
Loving unconditionally can be really tough. Read 5 Steps to Loving Someone You Don’t Really Like