Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 45-47.
When Joseph reveals himself to his brothers he gives us a lesson in how we should deal with hardship and with those who have wronged us. First, lets look over Joseph’s life. As we have read over the last couple of days, he suffered quite a bit of hardship. That hardship would have been made harder to take by the fact that he had grown up with a privileged life before his brothers turned on him. And all of that hardship was the responsibility of his brothers. However, rather than focus on his hardship and the wrong that had been done him, Joseph focused on serving God. Now, when his brothers were in his power, he went out of his way to assure them that he held them no ill will. Not only that, but he asked them to stop blaming themselves for what had happened, because it had all served God’s purpose. Joseph understood that if it had not been for his brothers’ actions of selling him into slavery, he would never ended up where he was, where he could save them and his father’s entire household from starvation.
Throughout his whole story Joseph never gave into anger and resentment over his situation. When he was sold into slavery, he did not become surly and do no more than he was absolutely required. No, he applied himself and did the best that he was able, rising to a position of power in Potiphar’s household. When that went wrong and he was thrown into jail, he again did not give into resentment and become surly. He did the best that he was able and rose to a position of power within the jail. Note, this was not the position of “trusty” where the other prisoners resented him for cooperating with the jailer. His position was one where the other prisoners were willing to share what was bothering them with him. Further, when it took the prisoner whose dream he interpreted two years to remember him, and even then only because Pharaoh had a dream none of his advisers could interpret for him, Joseph did not give into resentment and anger. Here is the lesson for us: forgive those who have wronged us, they are only able to do so because it serves God’s purpose. They will suffer the consequences of doing wrong, we should not allow ourselves to become like them. We should not become resentful of the hardship and suffering we face in life. Instead, we should seek how we can serve God and bring glory to His name in the situation we find ourselves in.