Scripture Read: Genesis 44 - 45
Title: Joseph Forgives
(H) Highlight verse: "And now do not be dismayed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before to preserve life." Gen. 45:5
(E) Explain: After all that has happened to Joseph in his life, one would think that he would be a bitter and angry person. One would definitely think that he would hold a deep grudge against his brothers for what they did to him. His brothers betrayed him, beat him and sold him into slavery. This is no small crime against Joseph. When he finally sees his brothers I think his little game that he played with them was a little bit of payback and he could have easily been justified in punishing them harshly. But Joseph chooses to take the high road and forgive. Joseph had matured over the years and he finally realizes that everything he went through, no matter how painful, that God was preparing him to do great things. He was commissioned to preserve life. He realized he could not be angry with his brothers because it was God who was orchestrating this. Since he saw God's hand in all of this, forgiveness was a little easier to extend.
(A) Application: Forgiveness begins with you. I believe it is a choice we make, and often not very easily..
(R) Respond: Lord, I have seen your hand at work in my life, especially during the hard times when I have been wronged or betrayed by someone. Forgiveness has not been easy, but through your power I see that you are/were at work and thus I am able to forgive more freely.
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