Good morning all-
As I was reading today something jumped out at me in Scripture. I have been reading Genesis and the story of Joseph and his brothers. It seems to me that the betrayal of his brothers would have bred hate in his heart. They were cruel and selfish and full of hate for their brother. Joseph in his humanness should have been angry, hurt and full of revenge but instead he was full of forgiveness. How is that?
I have asked myself the last couple of days if I would be able to forgive so easily. I guess that's why God picked Joseph out of the brothers to be sold into slavery. He knew that Joseph loved, had hope and could help a nation through famine. He was given divine help all throughout his journey. His brothers on the other hand felt shame and went to him saying, "We are your slaves." Joseph's response was incredible. He said it was his mission for God. God knew out of bad would come good. It was planned and yet, what they did was a true act of evil and jealousy. God used that evil for His own purpose. He did the same with the Pharisees. He used their arrogance and fear, which in turn made them want to kill Jesus. Had they not, we wouldn't have a Savior. The picture of Joseph in Genesis is very true to the picture of Jesus. One saved a nation from famine and the other saved the world. Both could have been hurt and full of anger but instead they were filled with forgiveness, purpose and God's divine will for their lives. If only I could be that hopeful, that full of forgiveness and that guided, don't you agree?
These two pictures remind me that my anger is never justified, that the situation at hand may have a Godly purpose far beyond my wildest dreams and that forgiveness is still the key to our salvation. I'm in awe right now of the love our Father has for us. Like you, I can get caught in the bad things life has in store but rarely do I look at those events as God's divine will to change the hearts and minds of those that don't know Him.
Through this passage today, I am wondering what God wants me to truly see. Is it the connection between Joseph and Jesus? Is it the ability to forgive under the harshest circumstances or is it the power of the cross and God fulfilling His word? I haven't figured it all out be when you do; please share with me your heart. For today, I will contemplate Joseph's words and the possibility that God is doing powerful things in Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, and all around the globe. He's taking ordinary lives and turning them into this generations story of love, forgiveness and redemption. It's our time to unite and to pray for God's hands to be on His people as we forgive our enemies and call out to Jesus!
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, 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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. (Genesis 45:4-6, 8-9 NIV)
My prayer today:
O, Lord of Isaac and Jacob teach us Your word and help us always have forgiveness in our hearts. Joseph saw the blessing of being sold, which eventually saved a nation. He did not want his brothers to be angry at themselves but full of awe for You. I have said this many times but I need to remember that You always guide us and forgive us. You are the standard by which we must seek. Forgiveness can show us our path, guide us to You and help us be warriors for the word. It is with this Scripture today that I will be mindful that out of bad, You saved a nation from starvation. I am fully in the word, seeking You and all the wisdom You wish to impart. Bring my sisters to this place and help us unite to spread the gospel all over the world. Let our love shine across the globe and touch individual people as we ask for forgiveness and give it freely. I delight in Your word and in Your presence. Please take the events that seem so bad and make them into blessings. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN