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.
After the many ups and downs of his life, the set backs and the “start agains”; a chain of events initiated by his being sold into slavery by his own family – Joseph is able to say, “You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” This statement captures two miracles. God’s ability to deliver Joseph again and again and Joseph’s Spirit inspired choice to interpret the circumstances of his life in a God shaped way. We don’t live with the facts of our lives, we live with what we tell ourselves about those facts. “You meant to harm me, but God meant for me to save many people” (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell us about God and people?
- What stands out to you in this passage and why?
- How can you apply this passage in your daily life?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
PRAY FOR THOSE IN POWER Leaders across our world are humans, just like us, who need prayer: “… for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” – 1 Timothy 2:2-