I Forgive You
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
When Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers, he had no idea that his life will turn upside down. He had no idea that God was behind it until much later during the time of the famine. His brothers detested Joseph and threw him into a cistern before selling him as a slave in Egypt. I don’t think slaves are treated very well and he probably thought that he would face a lot of misery and hardship and certain death as a slave in a foreign land. As he was marching toward Egypt, he probably wasn’t thankful to his brothers for sending him away. When he was thrown into prison, he probably thought that he will decay in jail rather than rise up to be second to Pharoah.
When he finally saw his brothers and saw them bowing before him, he wanted to first test their hearts on whether they regret what they did to him. He asked that they send their youngest brother Benjamin and proceeded to test how they would protect their brother. Joseph ‘framed’ Benjamin. He ordered that silver be put into Benjamin’s sack and when Joseph sent his men to catch up with the group and pronounced that Benjamin was guilty. When they came back to face Joseph, Judah spoke up and asked that he be the slave in place of Benjamin. Joseph saw that his brothers’ hearts have changed. Judah was willing to be a slave himself to that Benjamin can be set free.
At this point, Joseph could no longer keep his secret and called them to come closer to him. He saw their repentant hearts and offered forgiveness to them. He encouraged them not to be angry at themselves for selling him as a slave as he saw that God’s hand was working to make this happen. We need to think of the next time that we may need to extend grace and offer forgiveness, just like God has offered his Son in our place so that we can be forgiven.