When bad things are done to us on purpose, it’s very hard not to want to strike back. The bad thing that happened to us creates negative consequences that change our lives and this fills our hearts with negative emotions.
After Israel (Jacob) died, Joseph’s brothers immediately feared retribution from Joseph. They had done an extremely harmful thing when they sold Joseph into slavery. It was evil and selfish. Now that their father was dead, they feared that is was payback time for Joseph.
I have found that this kind of thinking happens in people’s minds because this is what THEY would do. It’s not because they’ve evaluated the actions of the person they are worried about and see indications that this is going to happen. They just know how they would react and so they assume this other person is going to act like they would.
In this situation, the brothers hadn’t really taken into consider how Joseph was caring for them or how he had grown and matured. They were still stuck in their selfish and mean mode.
So, they told Joseph a made-up story that, before he died, their father had left Joseph instructions to forgive his brothers. (Are they ever going to stop the lies?)
After telling Joseph the lies, they threw themselves down at his feet, asking to be his slaves.
Joseph was a man of God. Joseph had already looked back at what was done to him and he had seen God’s hands in everything. God had orchestrated it all so that Joseph would be in Egypt in a position to save a multitude of people along with his family from dying in the famine.
So Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
What a great role-model for us! When bad things happen to us, we know that God is in control and even this has come through his hands. He has a purpose for everything – a purpose we may understand some day or maybe we’ll never understand.
Because we trust God, we can face any circumstance with faith and perseverance. The grudges fall away as we forgive others like God has forgiven us.
We can live our lives resting on the Rock of our Salvation and it doesn’t matter how high the waves are that crash around us.
God has a purpose for all of it.
We are secure.
Thank you, Abba Father.