Date: Friday, June 13
Scripture: Genesis 45:1-15, 25-28
Verse: They announced to him, “Joseph’s still alive! He’s actually ruler of all the land of Egypt!” Jacob’s heart nearly failed, and he didn’t believe them. (Genesis 45:26)
Forgiveness is hard. When people have harmed us, it can be very difficult to let go of the hurt and anger. Sometimes that desire for revenge can be so strong, it can affect every aspect of our lives. Often the hurt is deeper and the forgiveness harder, when the offender is a member of our family.
The famine which Joseph correctly predicted in Pharaoh’s dream comes, and it is widespread. Not only is Egypt without food, but so are the surrounding lands, including Joseph’s hometown of Canaan, where Jacob and Joseph’s brothers still live. Before long they are out of food, but due to Joseph’s planning, Egypt is not. Joseph’s brothers travel to Egypt to ask for what they need to survive. Since Joseph is running this program for Egypt, they wind up bowing before him, just as the dreams Joseph told them about predicted — the dreams that made them so angry with him.
Joseph tests (and messes with) his brothers some in the chapters before today’s passage. He seems to want to know if they have learned anything in the years since they plotted to kill him and eventually sold him into slavery. Finally, Joseph decides to let his brothers know who he is, and sends them to get his father so they can be reunited.
Though it takes some time, Joseph is able to get past the hurt and the pain caused by his brothers. He puts it aside to that he can return to and reconnect with his family of origin. It is a wonderful scene that I imaging helped ground Joseph with his past, and helped him understand who he was as a child, not only of Jacob, but of God.
Prayer: Give me the strength, O God, to forgive those who have hurt me. Amen.
Action: Take some time today to pray for those who have hurt you.
Respond: What do you think of Joseph’s reunion with his brothers? Would you have been able to do that? Would time heal even those wounds?
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