Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 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,… Genesis 50:18-20a
Way back at the beginning of the story of Joseph’s life and dreams he hoped his brothers would listen to him. But here many years later we see that God had worked in Joseph’s heart to the point where it was Joseph who had learned to listen to them. He who had interpreted the dreams of a king had a more difficult task at hand, to listen to the fears of his brothers. Joseph had never been accepted. He was born to a different mother, he had been given a different robe, a different position and later an entirely different set of life’s experiences. But at the end of the day the deepest lesson Joseph had learned was to forgive his brothers and to see it all as good in the hands of God.
Have there been life altering circumstances brought into your life as the result of the sins of others? Have you been talked about, unjustly accused and suffered legal consequences all because of a lie? All of that and more happened to Joseph and yet God had chosen those exact situations to work together for good. And the most amazing thing of all about God’s goodness is not just that he turned his brothers’ sin into good in Joseph’s life, but that He also turned everything around for the good of even those brothers!
“God is good all the time” we often shout in church. But while we often think first of God being good to us we need to remember that he also wants to be good to our enemies. Jesus told us to forgive our enemies and Joseph shows us that we can also learn to listen to them. Take this moment to sincerely pray and ask God if He has put someone in your life who has caused you pain, who you should be listening to and forgiving just as Joseph did. Choose now to forgive because God means it all for good: everyone’s good. We may see only the barriers of the bad things that they have done but God sees beyond to the horizon!!