Family in Perspective
Father, I look forward in anticipation to the opportunities of today. I pray I will not miss Your best for me.
Read GENESIS 50:15-26
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Reflect on your most treasured family friendship. What actions and attitudes help such a relationship to flourish? For some ideas, see Colossians 3:12-14.
Have you ever been afraid you might get into serious trouble if a person who usually stood up for you was not around? Jacob was now gone, and the brothers’ fear that Joseph might take revenge for their earlier wrongs returned (Gen. 45:3-5). We have no record that Jacob instructed Joseph to forgive his brothers, but it seems that the reported request for forgiveness came from a genuine sorrow, not just from fear of retribution. It deeply affected Joseph, and prepared the way for genuine reconciliation. The brothers’ prostrate gesture takes us back to the beginning of the story as Joseph’s dreams come true with a depth of meaning never understood in his youth.
However, Joseph’s willingness to forgive was only part of this story. Yes, he saved his family and many others in a time of crisis, but not merely by good management or good luck. Somehow the evil intentions of his brothers were turned around by the good intentions of the God who had already called their ancestors into a new, purposeful relationship. Joseph could only work alongside a saving God and offer his brothers kindly protection. Many centuries later, “for such a time as this,” God placed a young Jewish girl in the courts of a foreign king to save her people (Esth. 4:14). Several centuries beyond that, Jesus came at the right time to offer salvation to the whole world. Joseph’s old age went well beyond typical Egyptian life expectancy. His death rituals were Egyptian, but his hope was not: he looked forward to the time when he and his “brother Israelites” would rejoin their ancestors in their own land. Inspired by his lifelong faith, he had no doubt God would make sure of that. He saw both his own life and his family’s from God’s perspective.
Ponder this question: What faith perspectives guide your life, your decisions, actions, relationships, values, and future? Do they need any adjustment?
Lord, my times are in Your hands. Shape my perspectives and guide me through all the many choices I must make today so they reflect Your priorities.