S (Scripture): Genesis 50:18 Then [Joseph’s] brothers also came and threw themselves down before him; they said, “Here we are; we are your slaves.” 19 But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day. 21 So now, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little children.” Then he consoled them and spoke kindly to them.
O (Observation): Joseph has been through quite a lot. He has every right to be upset with his brothers who left him for dead and despised him. Yet, Joesph has now saved them and many 1,000’s of others, by being given the ability of interpreting dreams. This gift caused him to rise in power as the 2nd hand man of the Pharaoh himself. Joseph counseled the Pharaoh to stockpile grains and other items for they would experience 7 years of plenty, followed by the same amount of time in a drought.
Joseph’s brothers realize that they owe their very life to Joseph (well, God, actually) and bow down to him. By God’s grace, Joseph listens to God’s words of mercy and grace. Joseph understands that his sufferings did bring about a situation that God used for the good.
Joseph shows his brothers the same mercy he’s been shown by God.
A (Application): Would you do the same? Would I? We’ve all been mistreated by close friends and family. How do we respond?
My brothers and I have certainly had our fights over the years. (No, we never left each other in the bottom of a cistern. But…we came close : )
Today, we get along very well, with a few bumps, of course. But we all know what God’s grace and mercy looks like in our lives, and we do our best to allow God to guide our relationships today.
What about close friends that caused you harm? What about family? What guides your response? Does God’s grace enter the equation?
Just think about what happened with Joseph. God was present in his personal hell. God stayed with Joseph and used his situation for a great good. I don’t think God caused the harm, but God redeemed the situation.
In what situation are you seeking redemption? Can you look back and see situations which God took and made holy?
P (Prayer): Great redeemer, thank you for bringing me through thick and thin. Amen.