Highlights In Today's Reading:
What an awesome experience! Can you imagine the emotions flowing through the minds of Joseph's brothers as he reveals himself as the brother they had sold as a slave. We see Christ's love, mercy, and forgiveness clearly as Joseph weeps for his brothers, even though they had betrayed him. Imagine Jacob's joy as he learns that his beloved son is alive.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled (shocked) at his presence. . . . Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life (45:3,5).
The words I am Joseph struck horror in the hearts of his brothers. They were speechless as thoughts of Joseph's revenge and their execution appeared imminent. Joseph did not prolong the discipline one moment after there was full admission of guilt by his brothers. He did not reprove his brothers for destroying his beautiful multicolored robe nor did he denounce them for heartlessly abandoning him in a pit and then wickedly selling him as a slave.
The graciousness of Joseph's forgiveness may be observed as he diverted their attention from themselves and from any self-condemnation of past sins by saying: Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither. He was concerned that his brothers enjoy his fellowship and the superabundance of God's provisions.
One of the great needs today among Christians is to demonstrate the spirit of Joseph. When one knows the God of Joseph, it really doesn't matter that we are misunderstood, unjustly maligned, or cruelly abused. With a heart filled with love, we can say: As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good (50:20). What a spirit of compassion and mercy! Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them (45:15). Here the offended one showed all his forgiveness towards the guilty. Oh, yes, Joseph's God is still the same today toward everyone who confesses their sins!
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6).
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45).
He also exposed the consequences of failure to forgive in His parable of the unforgiving servant, saying: O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:32-35).
Thought for Today:
The attitude of this world is revenge when someone offends us, but Jesus teaches us the importance of forgiveness (Matthew 6:15). There are no accidents with God; instead, he moves us according to His purpose for our lives (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Avoid the poison of bitterness by realizing the Lord is working through your offenders and your circumstances to express His love (Hebrews 12:15).
Through Joseph's dealings with his brothers. Christ deals with us in such a way as to bring about our confession of sin and a recognition of His forgiving love. In a similar way, He reveals His sovereignty over the affairs of life (Genesis 45:5-8,15; compare Rom. 5:8; Eph. 1:17,20-22).
43:1 sore =evere; 43:6 ill =rouble; 43:7 straitly =pecifically; tenor =e merely answered his questions; 43:17 bade =rdered; 43:25 the present against Joseph =ifts ready for Joseph; 43:28 made obeisance =owed low in respect; 43:30 bowels =eart; upon =oward; 43:32 set on for him =et a place for him; abomination =etestable, a disgrace; 43:34 messes =ervings; 44:5 divineth =ets knowledge of future events; 44:10 servant =lave; 44:15 divine =ould be able to know; 44:34 evil =uffering and sorrow; 45:3 troubled =errified, afraid; 45:6 earing =lowing, harvest; 45:9 tarry not =o not delay; 45:17 lade =oad; 45:18 fat =est; 45:24 fall not out =o not quarrel on.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Flora Coursey and the English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in China, Japan, and the Far East in memory of Dr. Lewis Hylbert, late Missionary to China • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and local dialects • Religious freedom • 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord and He will give you peace (Proverbs 3:24-26).
Optional Reading: Matthew 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 22:19