A Blessing In Disguise
Read Luke 6:27–31. Pray through these verses.
Read Genesis 50:15–26
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.
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.
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.
ReflectYou can be blessed even when you are at your lowest, says Jesus (Matt. 5:4).
Death is always sad and shocking, however much we are prepared for it. And yet it can bring unexpected blessing, and even growth. Jacob’s death forces his family to regroup and make peace with one another as tears wash away the years of envy, bitterness and self-recrimination. Joseph remains gracious, as in their earlier meeting (Gen. 45:5), and the quest to bless finds its greatest expression in the willingness to forgive (Matt. 18:21,22). Being part of a family gives us all the opportunity to “bless” others many times over!
How do we do this? Joseph can be gracious because he has made sense of his suffering; he can see the bigger picture of what God is doing for his people (20). Are you in that place yet? You might need the eyes of faith to see what God is doing through your life, but let Joseph’s big-picture vision linger with you today and help you in your quest to bless. Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of the evangelist Billy Graham, says, “If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that’s as obscene as the cross, he can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered
Turning curses into blessings: it’s the essence of Jesus’ approach to life (Luke 6:28). Pray for the strength to do so.
God, may I be a blessing wherever I go—whether it is to those who love me, or to those who wish me harm.
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