Oct 19, 2021
How much can one person take, and still choose to offer kindness?
In Genesis Chapter 37, verses 12–36, 17-year-old Joseph is sent by his father to visit his brothers, who were tending the family’s flock of sheep in the countryside.
Rather than the friendly check-in he expected, Joseph’s brothers initially plotted to kill him out of jealousy, but instead sold him into slavery to a group of Ishmaelites heading for Egypt. Among the brothers, only Reuben wished to leave Joseph unharmed, attempting (but failing) to set up a situation where he could rescue his brother and return him to their father.
In Egypt, Joseph was falsely accused of a crime, thrown into prison, became an interpreter of dreams for Pharaoh, and eventually attained a seat of power over Egypt.
When famine hit the land where his brothers lived, they came to Egypt to buy grain. They didn’t know Joseph was not only alive, but was now the governor of Egypt. To their surprise, Joseph wasn’t angry at his brothers, but showed them compassion when he saw them again. Instead of taking revenge, he took them in and cared for them. Joseph knew everything that had happened was part of God’s plan, and what his brothers intended for harm, God intended for good.
Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
The story of Joseph teaches us that humility, patience, gentleness, and love are not just qualities to be saved up for those who deserve it; God asks us to approach others with love even if they have offended or caused us harm.
Lord, sometimes the people in our lives are disappointing, frustrating, or downright hurtful. Help us to love those who fall short and need our forgiveness the most, and to bear with each other with patience, and with grace. Amen.