August 31st, 2018 | Genesis 50:15-26
Simon Wiesenthal recounts a time during his confinement in a concentration camp when a nurse approached him and asked him to come to the hospital to see a dying German soldier. This soldier was an SS officer, who grabbed Simon by the hand and recounted all of the horrible deeds he had done against the Jews. He could not live with the guilt, and he was afraid to die without confessing and asking for forgiveness from one of the victims.
For seventeen years, Joseph’s brothers had been living with him in Egypt—and they had never relinquished the fear that Joseph was harboring a grudge against them. They worried that it was only the presence of their father that prevented him from exacting vengeance. Now that Jacob was dead, they hatched a plan to appease Joseph: to claim their father’s dying wish was to tell Joseph to forgive his brothers (v. 17). But in addition to their idea to manipulate their father’s memory, they also admitted the depth of their sin against Joseph. They call their actions “sins” and “wrongs” (v. 17). They also fell at his feet and offered to be his slaves (v. 18).
Joseph responded with weeping (v. 17). Upon seeing his brothers grovel before him, Joseph did not gloat or take any self-satisfaction in their position. He confessed that it was not his place to seek vengeance, but God’s (v. 19). He then recounted the main message he had learned in his life: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (v. 20). God works out His purposes and plan through sinful men. He redeemed every element of Joseph’s life in order to save many lives, including His beloved family of Abraham.
APPLY THE WORD
In our study of Joseph, we have seen the power of forgiveness, the faithfulness of God to keep His promises, and God’s sovereignty in the midst of difficult circumstances. Rejoice in the assurance that God is able to redeem even the bleakest of circumstances. This truth is most clearly seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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