Bible Study Lesson about Joseph from Genesis 50:15-26
Remember how the brothers sold Joseph when he was young?
The brothers remembered too.
They were afraid of revenge by the younger after their father, Jacob died.
Forgiveness for the Brothers (Sinners)
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!”
So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’
And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. – Genesis 50:15-21 NASB
The brothers of Joseph have lived with what they did to him for many years.
To refresh, they sold him into slavery at a young age which brought Joseph to Egypt where he now reigned with Pharaoh.
Joseph seemed to have forgotten and forgiven them – but they didn’t understand his attitude.
You see, Joseph had taken the lemon life had given him and made lemonade.
That is, Joseph made the best of every situation from being a slave, serving in prison, and everything else “bad” that happened to him.
Why Did Joseph Forgive His Brothers?
Joseph understood that God led him on this path.
The brothers couldn’t link the pieces together but Joseph did. Their planning to kill him and then later deciding to sell him into slavery was a sin.
But, this action resulted in many lives being saved in Egypt. It also brought about salvation for his own family during the great Egyptian famine – including the lives of his father and brothers.
Where God Puts Us
Many times I have found myself in awkward or unpleasant situations and, like most humans, I did not see God’s work in progress.
I’ve looked back sometimes and realized that the circumstance I found myself in was exactly where I needed to be at that time in my life.
God uses these things to educate, humble and strengthen us.
We all need “bumps in the road” from time to time to bring us closer to God.
Lastly, Joseph’s brothers found it difficult to believe that he could actually forgive them for this horrendous act. But he did.
Their transgressions were forgiven and forgotten and these unworthy people were taken care of.
God Forgives Us
God does the same for us.
Through Jesus Christ, He forgives us of our past and “forgets” our failings as if they never existed – if we only believe and ask.
I thank God for being merciful to an undeserving person like me.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to look at this message from John 3:16 for more information.
Filed under: Genesis