Opening Prayer

Creator God, on my journey of faith, You walk with me, encouraging, teaching, lifting me. Today, may I rest in You.

Scripture Reference

GENESIS 50:15–26


Joseph Reassures His Brothers

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[a]

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

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  1. Genesis 50:23 That is, were counted as his

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



‘… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’1

Think Further

With Jacob gone, Joseph’s brothers are understandably afraid that he might now exact revenge on them. Jacob had always been overindulgent towards Joseph, but respect for his father and his dying request for him to forgive his brothers would have held Joseph back, if necessary. But Jacob’s fears and that of the brothers are groundless because of the changes that have occurred in them all since a teenage Joseph was so gravely mistreated.

The brothers have changed. Rather than claiming precedence and exercising pitiless force, as they did when they sold Joseph into slavery, they now humbly come and submit to his authority, offering themselves as his slaves. Joseph, too, has changed. Rather than being the precocious peacock of his youth, he now sees God’s hand in the suffering he endured and God’s mysterious plan at work. Without that, Joseph would not be in the position he is in, nor would he have been able to save the many lives he did. There is no more classic statement of God’s providence than Joseph’s words in verse 20. When all is said and done, that’s what matters. God sovereignly uses the worst of human situations, even those quite unjustly inflicted on people, to accomplish good ends and achieve His plans.

How often have my wife and I, like many other Christians, hung on to these words. When perplexing situations have arisen, especially those we protest are unfair, we have believed that God knows what He is doing and that good will result and eventually be made known to us. To paraphrase Kierkegaard, ‘Life can only be understood backwards. The trouble is it must be lived forwards’. Forward is fine, providing we daily trust in a good and sovereign God, Whose will is always ‘good, pleasing and perfect’.2


Are you nursing hurts from ill-treatment in the past? Give it over to God today. Practice forgiveness. Discover freedom. Trust God.
Forgiving Father, may I keep short accounts with You. Enable me to be loving and forgiving with others.

1 Rom 8:28 2 Rom 12:2

Closing Prayer

Forgiving Father, may I keep short accounts with You. Enable me to be loving and forgiving with others.

1 Rom 8:28 2 Rom 12:2

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Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar

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