How important is forgiveness?
Joseph had received big dreams for his future. In the first one, his brothers would bow before him. In the second, even his father and mother would bow. As we know, Joseph spent years in slavery due to the evil, jealous brothers’ actions. We are not told much about Joseph’s thoughts while in slavery. We know he remained faithful to God and God blessed him everywhere he went. However, it is interesting what he named his firstborn son: Manasseh, meaning “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” These choices show a step toward forgiveness. Thoughts of his brothers must have plagued him, because it is only after being elevated out of prison and Manasseh’s birth that he was able to “forget his father’s household.”
Genesis 42 gives the account of Joseph’s brothers coming for food, and when they bow before him, he suddenly remembers the dream! As the story unfolds, Joseph completely forgave them. This opened the way for God’s plan for Israel to become a nation to be ushered in. The clan of Israel needed to be isolated from outsiders and grow together as a nation versus being spread out all over the place with each son taking his family in different directions and melting into the pagan world of their time.
Think on your life. Are there areas that you forgave that resulted in blessing? Have you ever struggled with forgiveness? How did you overcome?
Please post your thoughts. Your experiences may help another person who is struggling.
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