Joseph Study | Day Thirteen
By: Brittany Green | Provision
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Sometimes my life seems out of control.
How about you?
Do you like to control things? I think most of us do! We like to control where the group decides to go for lunch. We like to control our hair, especially on frizzy or windy days. We want to control what our friends do so that they meet our expectations. And we want to control our plans and our futures.
But here’s the deal…we don’t control anything. And it’s not what God wants for us.
He wants to be in control. He is in control. And He wants us to recognize it.
From my experience, my life always goes better when I release my plans, desires, and expectations to God. Today, we get a glimpse of Joseph realizing this too.
We left yesterday on the cliffhanger of Judah boldly crying to take Benjamin’s place and Joseph reacting wisely with His brothers. That’s huge! And equally important is Joseph’s reaction to his brother’s situation.
Raise your hand if you read ahead after yesterday?? I couldn’t help but read ahead! I needed to see how Joseph reacted. We’re going to see him act in forgiveness and reassure everyone that God is in control. So let’s look.
Read Genesis 45.
As you read, underline the sentences that talk about God. There are four of them in verses 5, 7, 8, & 9. These are important and we’ll come back to it.
Check out verse 16. It tells the news of Joe’s brothers coming traveled all the way to Pharaoh. It says: “it pleased Pharaoh and his servants.” Now why do you think it would please Pharaoh? Maybe because he knew that part of Joseph’s past was hurtful and somewhat of a burden that Joseph carried with him.
So with that great burden, Joseph forgives his brothers. No lecture, no throwing his success in their faces, he didn’t even mention that the dreams came true. He embraces them!
The dictionary describes forgiveness as the act of granting pardon for an offense or fault, or to cease to feel resentment against something or someone who has committed a wrong. That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it?
If anyone had an excuse for holding grudges or bitterness, I think Joseph would qualify. Think of something wrong someone has done to you. Does it include being sold into slavery by your own siblings? Hopefully not! And yet, here Joseph is embracing and crying for them.
Why do you think he forgives them?
I believe part of it is because Joseph has a relationship with God. He knows the love God has for His people, he’s trusted in God, and therefore Joseph can forgive his brothers.
Read Colossians 3:13-17.
These verses speak a great deal to the character of our hearts. In order to put on love—or to love one another—we must walk in forgiveness. Focus in on verse 13. It says that just as the Lord has forgiven you, you must also forgive others.
Jesus came so that we might have a right relationship with God. Although we were born sinners, Jesus died for us. That’s ultimate forgiveness.
I hope you don’t miss that.
Jesus died for you even when you didn’t deserve it.
That’s how much He loves you.
And so, the Bible says that because Jesus did that for us, we can’t help but forgive other people.
Flip back over to Genesis to those verses you underlined. They show Joseph’s perspective in regards to his brothers.
He reassures them that God is in control. God had a bigger plan than any of them could ever imagine.
God sent Joseph ahead of the brothers to preserve their lives. He knew what He was doing. And, as verse 7 says, God sent Joseph so that a remnant of the family might be preserved. This remnant is important throughout the Old Testament. It means that God is remembering His promise to Abraham. Abraham’s family will be a great nation because of Joseph and his brothers.
Joe’s perspective is huge.
And it’s that perspective that God wants for us.
So where are you at? You might need to spend some time today checking out God’s perspective. What’s going on in your life that you need to take a step back and trust God’s point of view?
You might need to forgive someone who has wronged you. Often times, we hold on to hurt instead of seeking to forgive.
Who do you need to forgive today?
We must trust God with our emotions when we face those who have hurt us deeply. Can you trust God’s sovereignty in the midst of hurt?
Take some time today to reflect on your relationships. Can you release control of them to God and seek to walk in forgiveness?