In the closing chapters of Genesis, the earlier prophecy regarding Joseph’s sovereignty over his brothers has finally come to pass. He first experienced the pit and then the prison cell, but ultimately Joseph found his way to the palace. And there they were; Joseph’s older brothers were found before kneeling before him, with fear in their eyes, acknowledging his sovereignty, while requesting food for their families.
Yes, we see it again — God’s words are always true. He has promised a son to Abraham and Sarah, and he has marvelously come through. God has promised the blessing and birthright to Isaac’s younger son – Jacob, and this too happened according to God’s plan. And now God has promised a throne to Joseph, and upon one he now sat. Yes, in all that God promises, he never errs, he never exaggerates, and he never fails. All that God promises always comes to pass. God’s Words are “yes” and “amen.” We can bank on his Word.
At this point, Joseph had an opportunity to either seek vengeance or pursue reconciliation with his brothers. At first, it seemed like he might be heading in the direction of vengeance. He framed his brothers as ungrateful thieves of Pharaoh’s grain and his divining cup. However, Joseph was stealthily working behind the scenes waiting to see their reaction. He was wondering, “Has anything really changed with these fellows?”
Yes, we see it again — God’s grace powerfully changes the vilest of sinner. God has already saved a pagan worshiper named Abraham. Next came an idol-worshiper name Rachel. And now, the hypocritical abuser of women and men has been spiritually transformed from the inside-out. Judah proves to be one desperate, no longer to safeguard his own interests, but to repair the broken relationship with his father while protecting his youngest brother. God is still the friend of sinners. He is still one who internally reforms broken descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God of the Gospel, and it is fantastic to behold.
Upon seeing the change in his brother, Joseph was torn up. The “undercover brother” became overcome with emotion, and he finally revealed himself. Any bitterness he held was let go. Forgiveness happened, and in this particular case reconciliation resulted. Yes, a relationship, once broken beyond all recognition, was now heading back in the right direction.
Yes, we see it again — God restores the worst of relationships. He has healed the rift between Jacob and Esau, and now he is doing so between Joseph and his siblings. O friends, have you suffered at the hands of another? Have you been betrayed? Have you been abandoned? Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Our Lord has experienced all these things with us. We have done him horribly wrong. However, instead of pursuing judgement and revenge, he has chosen the path of forgiveness and pardon. And now, graced with his Holy Spirit, we can find ourselves doing the same. Therefore, pray for divine assistance to walk as Christ walked. Go ahead, let go, and give yourself and your enemies the blessing of forgiveness. On the basis of what Christ has done for you, based on a level of hurt and betrayal infinitely above what we have ever experienced, seek God’s grace, forgive, and pursue reconciliation. Be free of bitterness. Enjoy giving the gift of forgiveness; you will be better off. And who knows, perhaps this will be the month when reconciliation and restoration takes place. God has done it before. Perhaps he will let us see him go to work one more time.
— This devotional blog was co-written by Dave Satterlee and Joe Franks