This was a great sermon, and the devo for it is great too! I thought you all might enjoy it. Happy Wednesday!
(To watch the accompanying sermon, please visit: http://www.ccboise.org/resources/video/sunday-morning/reconciling-love)
“And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.” –Genesis 45:2
Joseph’s faith in God enabled him to show amazing grace toward those who had harmed him. By faith, Joseph, from the depths of his inner being, was able to see God at work in and through all his adversity. As a teenager, God had given him a prophetic dream revealing that one day he would be a great ruler. He would be so esteemed that even his brothers, mother, and father would bow before him (Gen. 37:9-11). Soon thereafter everything seemed to be against Joseph. He endured his brothers’ hate and jealousy, then was sold as a slave, imprisoned on a false charge of attempted rape, and eventually forgotten in prison by those who could have helped him.
Countless circumstances loudly shouted, “God’s Word to you will not be fulfilled.” But Joseph’s confidence in God responded back, “God is true; His word is true, and He will fulfill the good things He has promised.” Joseph’s life proves that God can do in a day what we could not do in a lifetime. Joseph could not have brought God’s Word to fulfillment if he fought for it every day of his life. But God can achieve his purposes in a single day!
Joseph was able to look at everyone who had opposed and hurt him through the prism of grace. He not only forgave his brothers, but also sought to relieve their painful consciences. Don’t blame yourselves, he told them, for God used your hate and jealousy to send me to Egypt. Joseph gave his brothers amazing grace. His tears now become tears of joy. The fulfillment of God’s promise and the reconciliation with his brothers is complete.
What’s so amazing about this reconciliation is that it made possible a spiritual transformation in the lives of these brothers that nothing else could have produced. The amazing love and forgiveness that Joseph gave them was beyond what anyone could do in themselves. These brothers experienced from Joseph a genuine taste of the reality of God.
Joseph tells them, “Do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves. It was ultimately God who used you, he tells them. “IT was not you who sent me here but God.” Years later at the death of their father Isaac, these brothers fear Joseph will then feel free to unleash revenge upon them and kill them. They just can’t believe Joseph was not secretly still bitter. But they were wrong. Therefore we read, “Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (Gen. 50:19-21).
Joseph’s faith in God’s sovereign ability to use all for good for those who love God united to God’s love within Joseph brought these brothers to the God they so desperately needed.