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Summary: Joseph will show real God like characteristics in Forgiving his brothers and God continues to care for the nation of Israel during this time of famine.

Real Forgiveness from God

A. Reason and Recognition

B. Rebukes, Requirements and Remorse

C. Restraint and Return

D. Review

Have you ever been in a situation where you do something that you know is wrong but you justify yourself in the fact the “the other person deserved it”, “the other person could afford it more than I” or any such similar situation.

Normally when we live our lives in this way—as the bible says we reap as we sow.

When people do these things to us we are normally not so free thinking?

Our normal response is not Well they deserved it more than I…they were more in need than I…or praise God I was in such a position that it did not cause me as severe a hardship.

Are we all that different?

Are we all so shallow?

Is this what God calls us to be?

I have been in plenty and I have been in need, I was the same person in these situations however, I think that I am a better person in these situations today because of Jesus

Christ in my heart.

Today, I can truly say Praise God in all things—sometimes it may take me a while to do so however. I do pray that people see this change that Jesus has brought about in my life and in your life…you see it is enmity with my flesh to forgive as Christ and God calls us to forgive. The nature of Christ that lives within you and I are what allows us to be able to do this in any capacity at all.

Let’s walk with Joseph as he finds himself in a situation that many of us still desire. A position that would allow us to right something we perceive as a great wrong in our lives and see the love and wisdom of God he shows in his generosity and restraint.

A. Reason and Recognition

Genesis 42:1-8

Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? [2] And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.

[3] And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. [4] But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. [5] And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. [6] And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. [7] And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. [8] And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.

We watch as the ever-wise steward Jacob is led by the circumstances under the control of God to bring the nation back together. The aged Jacob directs “Behold, I have heard there is grain in Mizraim:” go down and buy.

Isn’t it amazing that just as in this case with Jacob and the brothers God was working things for their greater good—even though they could not see it.

Do you seek for God’s greater good in your situation today?

If you truly know the heart of God, you know that he seeks to do only good for and through you. As the nation of Israel must have thought—Why do we have to go and get grain from Egypt? God knew that they would be able to go through experiences that would allow some to mature in their faith and trust in God and ultimately lead to the line of David and to Christ. This is the line that is represented in your new or re-birth. Claim your inheritance—an everlasting inheritance above any earthly price.

The ten brothers are sent, and Benjamin, the youngest, is kept by Jacob. There are several easy reasons given but I believe it was because he was the baby, Rachel’s child, and the only full brother of his beloved lost Joseph.

“Lest mischief befall him,” Jacob continues to demonstrate wise stewardship in that he understands hard times often make hard men and women. People often revert to mere images of their former self in tough times because they start to rely on themselves more and more.

Yet, as Christians we should understand and know that we cannot depend on ourselves. God sends the rains, God sends the sun, it is God who is in total control of all things. To depend on myself shows, I do not trust in the all-sufficient providence of God. May it never be so in your walk with God.

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