After Israel (Jacob) dies, his son’s take his body from Egypt and buried him with his fore-fathers. Upon returning to Egypt, imagine the thoughts going through Joseph’s brothers heads… They had sold him into slavery and he endured years in jail.
So, in Genesis 50, the brothers sought forgiveness for their actions, via a “message” from their now dead father. Scripture says that Joseph wept (vs 17). I think this gives us a great view into Joseph’ s heart. He loved his family very much, especially his father.
Joseph replies, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (vs 19-20). I think we get a glimpse of the heart of God here as well.
Joseph’s life exemplified grace and love toward those who meant him harm. How much more should I act in grace and love?
How often do the words or actions of people show us disrespect or non-love? How often do I do the same things to others? How often do my words tear down instead of build up?
A couple of months ago I heard a person in position say some hurtful things. I left there angry. I didn’t take those words personally, but I thought they were highly inappropriate in that setting. I wanted to “set things straight!”
Yet, looking at the example of Joseph, can I ask the same question… “Am I in the place of God? What you meant for evil, God will use it for good.”
It may not be the best example, but through it all, I do know that I need to act in love and grace. Maybe there is something to the old saying… kill them with kindness!