I’ve been working on a sermon series I’ve been invited to contribute to. A friend of mine called and asked if I would be willing to deliver a sermon in their summer series on people of the Old Testament. I said I would and chose to speak on Joseph, June 26. As I am working through the story of Joseph and his family, I’m finding so much here to dissect and ponder. So, I’m going to share with you just one of those instances.
‘‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. ‘ Genesis 50:17-21
This just so resonates with me. Joseph’s immediate willingness to forgive the wrong perpetrated on him by his brothers, is astounding. A wrong that is so incredible by comparison to what most of us can even imagine being perpetrated against us in this age. And yet, he does so, without hesitation and even offers to protect and provide for them and theirs. It’s supernatural. It’s by faith in and fear of the Lord that this is possible. You see, Joseph is capable of such an act because of his deference to God. God’s greatness is beyond measure and His will sovereign. Joseph knew this and so he devoted his life to obedience accordingly. Through obedience, Joseph received a perspective so rooted and formed by faith that it guided every moment of his life. He was obedient in perilous times and he was obedient in times of abundance. He was blessed and he knew it.
So, why is it so hard for us to ask for and grant forgiveness? And I do not mean to merely say that we forgive. I know that often times one says, “I forgive”, but clings to the wrong done and refuses to let it go. I mean to forgive as Christ forgives… To keep no record, to let it go, to forget, embrace and love those that have harmed us. It’s tough. But what if you were willing to change your perspective? What if you wholly offered your life as a sacrifice to Christ? What if you deferred all power, glory and trust to faith in Him, lived in obedience and fear of the Lord? What if you trusted that no matter what is happening around and to you, God’s hand is on it and He’s in control. What then? Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy