I’m sure many of us are familiar with the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (No idea why it uses that spelling of colour, but there you go!). Many of us have probably sung it in some form or other – we used to sing it in music lessons at school.
The musical ends at the point of Joseph’s joyful reunion with his father, Jacob
(and who can ever resist some Donny Osmond!)
But this weeks Old Testament passage picks up after that, after Jacob has died:
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
The brothers are worried that now their father has died, Joseph will get his own back on them for all the terrible things they did to him, and so they beg him to forgive them.
I’m not sure I could have been so generous, but Joseph sees the bigger picture, and he sees the God who holds it. He is able to see how God has worked, despite what has happened to him.
He realises that he is no one to judge them. Perhaps he remembers the things he has got wrong in his own life…
He lives out the forgiveness that he knows in his own life by letting go of those things that his brothers have done wrong against him.
By the Providence Lithograph Company (http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart/1907/gen45.jpg) [Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons”]
help me to let go
of all those wrongs
I feel have been done to me.
Help me to see you,
and feel your forgiveness in my life,
and live out that forgiveness