Creator God, on my journey of faith, You walk with me, encouraging, teaching, lifting me. Today, may I rest in You.
Read 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.
- 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.
ReflectWhat area of your life is God working on right now?
This is the conclusion of Joseph’s life story. It is also the conclusion of the process of reconciliation between him and his brothers. Throughout his life, Joseph has had to exercise considerable patience and trust in God. In prison he waited for freedom; in disguise he waited for his family to come to him; with kindness he waited for his brothers to finally confess their abuse. When they do so, he is overwhelmed with emotion (17).
True reconciliation is not possible without truthful confession and gracious forgiveness. The brothers hope that Joseph will forgive them for the sake of their father. But he has a bigger reason: he has experienced God graciously working out His purposes in his own life, so he does not find it difficult to offer grace to his brothers (20). This reconciliation takes place within the wider context of God’s plan to grow a nation and to settle them in the promised land. Joseph dies still looking forward to this conclusion (24).
The road to forgiveness and reconciliation can be long. It is easier to be honest, patient and kind when we realize that we are operating within God’s bigger purpose, to reconcile all things to Himself through Jesus (Colossians 1:19,20).
Is there something unfinished in your life that needs to be concluded? A relationship that needs repair? A God-given goal that you have forgotten?
Forgiving Father, may I keep short accounts with You. Enable me to be loving and forgiving with others.
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