As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.” Genesis 42:7
Today we are going to focus on verse 7 when Joseph sees his brothers for the first time after they had sold him into slavery. Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a few minutes. Your own family sells you off to an unknown end because they are jealous of you. Perhaps you’re reading this right now and you’ve had a falling out with a family member. Maybe you’ve been the one who “sold out” someone. Whatever the case may we, we are all faced with the act of forgiveness day in and day out.
I don’t like to admit it, but I can hold a grudge. I can tell you who I think wronged me and probably even give you the date. But what happens when I hold onto that hurt, disgust, or anger toward them? Does it hurt them? More than likely it doesn’t affect them at all, but it makes me into someone I don’t want to be. If your enemy came to you in a time of desperate need, would you help them the way Joseph ended up helping his brothers? Let’s think about it a little bit further. Joseph’s life is similar to Jesus’ life. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and Jesus was betrayed by His brethren. Just as Joseph was buried in an empty well in the desert, Jesus was buried in a tomb in the desert. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver.
I know some hurts are deep and etched in your soul so I’m not asking you to complete the act of forgiveness today. But I would encourage you, as well as myself, to pray for those who have hurt you, or who you may have wronged. Matthew 6:14 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” With the Good Lord’s help, we can work toward forgiveness.
Forgiving Father, help us to be more like You when it comes to forgiveness. Every day we can be just like the Prodigal Son, turning our backs on you. But you are there, just like the Father waiting on His long lost son, with Your arms wide open. Thank you Lord. Amen.