Today you should read: Genesis 42
After Joseph’s prophetic interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph becomes the most influential man in Egypt second only to Pharaoh himself (Gen 41:40-41). God has given Joseph a clear vision of the future and a plan to thrive during the famine. Of course, God has plans for the effects of this famine to not just be environmental. God will use the famine to fulfill His purposes in the lives of Joseph and his whole family. The famine is what brings ten of Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to buy food to take back to their family in Canaan. It is here that God moves in a big way in all their lives:
About 20 years had passed since they had last seen one another. It had to have been difficult for Joseph to see his brothers again after their betrayal. I imagine that a flood of emotions went through his heart as they bowed before him to request food from him. Certainly, Joseph remembered his earlier dreams (Gen 37:5-11) and seen this as a fulfilment of that prophecy. But, Joseph doesn’t use his newly found power for vengeance. Rather, he seeks restoration with his family because he was a Godly man and he knew that was what God desired (v.18). He sets a plan in motion that will eventually reunite his family and bring glory to The Lord.
That is the main thing that sticks out to me about Joseph in this passage: His desire to bring glory to God over getting pay back on his brothers. He certainly had the power to do with his brothers whatever he wished, and he had a right to for what they had done to him. But, Joseph had a heart after God and chose forgiveness and reconciliation over vengeance.
Sometimes forgiving someone is the most difficult when you feel you have “the right” not to forgive them. However, the extent by which we are to forgive others is not measured by whether or not they deserve it. The measurement by which we are to extend forgiveness to others is the extent of forgiveness we have received through Christ. We didn’t deserve His forgiveness, we didn’t deserve our debt to be paid, and we didn’t deserve reconciliation to God, but that exactly what we receive through Jesus’ sacrifice applied to our lives.
If you’re struggling to forgive someone today who you may feel justified in not forgiving; remember how much you’ve been forgiven in Christ and seek reconciliation with that person not vengeance.
By: Matt Mofield
5 thoughts on “March 1, 2016”
I’m amazed at the power of discernment that Joseph possessed. Had he simply said “hey it’s me! Joseph!” at the outset, his brothers may have been too terrified to return. He had to mess with them just enough so that they recognized their own guilt and were willing to follow his orders to return whereby they could then be reconciled.
I can’t help but wonder if tossing them in jail for three days was a bit of retribution on Joseph’s part, but on that third day when he heard their conversation he realized that God had a different plan.
I realize I may have just contradicted myself there… But I’ve always struggled a little bit on how to interpret Joseph’s actions.
God’s timing is amazing! We just completed a powerful 3 week sermon series from Philemon on forgiveness, and now we’re reading Genesis 42 & 43 about one of the greatest acts of forgiveness in all of scripture between Joseph and his brothers.
This is either outstanding planning and timing by our staff & interns who write Jumpstart commentaries or God weaving together the two events. Perhaps both are true. Either way, Glory to God! I love Jumpstart!
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7:13-14
Today, the road to forgiveness and the road to eternal life are intertwined in my thoughts.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” – Luke 13:24
Thank you for Jumpstart today.
I was just thinking that very thing (pepperjm) amazing timing, Thank you God and CPC jumpstart. I sure have had a lot to Contiplate and dig deep in my heart and soul during this series on forgiveness. GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT.
I think there’s a contrast between Joseph and Jacob in this passage. Joseph has a heart of reconciliation toward his brothers, although I would say he struggled with forgiveness. Jacob, on the other hand, seems to have never truly forgiven them. He calls Benjamin “all he has left”, and Rueben has to offer his own two sons to be killed if Benjamin is harmed. I could be wrong, but that’s one of the main things I saw in the passage.