Summary: One element that needs to be praticed in a family is forgivenss. This sermon looks at Joseph and his bothers and forgiveness
Title: Practicing Forgiveness
Theme: To show the importance of forgiveness in a healthy family.
Text: Genesis 45:1-8
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Boy talking about being in an awkward position. This is the same Joseph who they, 22 years ago, sold into slavery. This is the same Joseph whom they told their father was eaten by a wild animal. This is the same person who had spent 13 years between being a slave and a prisoner for no cause. Now here he was the second ruler in all of Egypt.
Boy how things have changed. Yet the boys never told their father. For 22 years now Jacob has been grieving because the death of his son. Afraid to let Benjamin, the true brother of Joseph, out of his site.
How much pain can jealously and envy cause? Look at all the lives that were wrecked because Jacob decided to show more favoritism over one of his children. You would think that he would have learned his lesson after Isaac showed favoritism over Esau. This caused Jacob to get jealous and deceive his father into giving him the blessing. This also caused him to be separated from his family, never to see his mother alive again, and it would be a good 20 years away from his father.
Oh the deadly affects of sin. Not just in our lives but also in our family. How important it is that we teach our children the ways of the Lord and the penalty for sin. We see the affects of sin in Jacobs travels as his sons commit acts against their father.
This maybe the reason that Jacob felt such disdain and untrust for his children. Ruben had slept with his fathers wife. Simon and Levi had went into a rage and destroyed the town of Schechem.
Now here they were. Before them stood Joseph the brother they had first desired to kill and yet still sold him for 30 pieces of silver.
Everything that Joseph had told them had come true. They would one day bow down to him. He would one day be called great in the land. Even his father and mother must bow down to the authority that has been placed on him.
The question before the brothers mind was what was he going to do now. I believe this had bothered them for years. On their conscience for 22 years was the lost of their brother. We see this when they first arrived in Egypt and Joseph accused them of being spies. I believe the main reason he done this was to see if they really regret what they had done. As they discussed among themselves they brought up what had happened over 22 years ago.
It had been over 22 years since Joseph had seen his brothers. The Bible tells us that he was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh. So for thirteen years after being sold he spent time as a slave and a prisoner. Both for no fault of his own.
He was sold by his brothers because they didn’t like him. They had no idea how he would turn out. They had no idea that he would be second chair in all the kingdom of Egypt.
So for 40 years Joseph had to think of what had been done to him. He had now lived more in Egypt than he had in Canaan.
Then before him he was faced with his brothers. With all of this we see an amazing response to his brothers. Instead of vengeance Joseph gives forgiveness. Did they deserve it? No. Yet Joseph knew God and he knew the hand of God. He also understood that no matter what happens to us in life “Everything works good for them who love the Lord”. Bad may caused by someone else but God always brings good.
It is a trick of Satan to allow bitterness and hatred in our family. This happens from unforgiveness. We have to remember that, “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.”
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1
Oh how important it is that we as families learn to forgive one another. Sadly there are children who carry around unforgiveness toward their parents or siblings for years. Eaten up with unforgiveness which turns to hatred. Their whole life is now being controlled by this.
If we could learn to forgive. If your family has done something to hurt you the best recourse is forgiveness. Oh if we could only learn to forgive. It would mend our families. You know what it may even help winning our relatives to the Lord.