Summary: When life is not fair, what do you do? Life is not fair, it seems the bad guys win all the time, so what’s the godly thing to do.
When Life is Not Fair
It is such a privilege to be here to talk about our great God in our series in Genesis. Allen and I have walked with you through it. Hope it has been helpful. Today is the final wrap up to the series. Allow me to speak to you - When life is not fair, what do you do?
“It is not fair” is something everyone has experienced, isn’t it? Everywhere you turn you see it, you get picked on, bullied, you get the wrong end of the stick, always getting the blame, experience horrible losses, betrayed, accidents, sickness, depression, death, bad news being laid off, work hard get B, some called Asian fail, but the guy who spends his time on videogames get straight A’s. Life is not fair, it seems the bad guys win all the time.
It is not fair that the gangsters are using their guns out in the streets, that there is a shooting almost every day on our streets. The gangsters say it is not fair that they are being hunted down by rival gangs. The police say it is not fair that they risk their lives to put bad people away only to have the courts release them the next day. Life is not fair!
Let me tell you about a person in the bible who can talk about life not being fair – Joseph. Firstly, he did not ask to be born. Second, he did not ask to be born of the wife whom his father loved. He did not ask to be the favourite of his father. He did not ask to have dreams of his family bowing down to him. He did not ask to have his brothers hate him so much they wanted to kill him. He did not ask to be thrown into Potiphar’s house as a slave for 11 years. Joe did not ask to be handsome that his boss’ wife would want to have him bed her. He did not ask to be forgotten for another 2 years living in Egypt’s prison. It would be justifiable if Joseph was a bitter man. The hardships he went through, would make a great case to hold a grudge. If he can to really give it to those who tormented him, it’d be great. If there is payback time, revenge will be so sweet.
And apparently the opportune time came for such well-deserved justice and the Joseph’s brothers knew it. It was the occasion right after their father died. They believed while their dad was still alive, they were protected. But once he’s gone, Joseph, most powerful man in Egypt, would pick them off one by one smash them like insects on a windscreen that they were. Their evil conscience must have kept them awake at nights. They knew Jacob loved Joseph, and Joe would never do anything to cause his father more heartache. But now he is dead, guess who would be dead next, it’d be them!!!
So we read of that time...
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."
The brothers made a pre-emptive move, to ensure their survival. I don’t know how they did it, I don’t think it was by e-mail. But they sent word. And the impact that it had on Joseph was recorded...
“When their message came to him, Joseph wept.”
It hurt Joe that the brothers thought he would go the eye for an eye route. The world would be blind, if that’s the way to go. Joseph was not motivated by revenge, or else he’d would not have cried. He’d have arrange for a firing squad or sold them into slavery, eye for an eye, right, get a few more bucks while you’re at it. But the record states...
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.
How did Joe get to this place where he has such a forgiving spirit, such a tender heart and not bitter angry response?