Back to the Beginning: Genesis 49:28-50:26

The final reading of the beginning: Genesis 49:28-50:26
Click the reference above to read on BibleGateway.com.

Jacob died. His sons returned him to the land of Canaan where they buried him in the family tomb. Now, the ten brothers who sold their younger brother into slavery feared the loss of protection they believed their father had provided while he was alive. They began to fear Joseph…

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”‘ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Genesis 50:17
For 17 years (Genesis 47:28), Joseph treated his brothers and their families with kindness and generosity. He told them when he revealed himself to them how God used their treachery for good (Genesis 45:7-8). But, after all Joseph’s acts of merciful compassion toward them, they didn’t believe him. They doubted his goodness. So he wept… 
When we sin against others, we wound ourselves, too. It is hard to accept forgiveness. Hard to trust the one who has forgiven. Sins we’ve committed against others have the power to haunt us and mar relationships.
The brothers resorted, again, to lying. Telling Joseph something their father never said in order to save their own skin from a fearful fate which wasn’t even true. Because the brothers had refused to offer grace, they were unable to receive grace. Joseph’s forgiveness was beyond their ability to comprehend.
The same thing can happen in our relationships, not only with others, but with Jesus. Even though we’ve been forgiven, we continually fear payback for our sins.
Just like Joseph, our sins were responsible for Jesus’s suffering and death. Just like Joseph, Jesus tells us not to fear. God used our rebellion, to send Him to the cross in order to make the way for our deliverance. Just like Joseph, Jesus was resurrected to a place of power over our lives where He offers forgiveness to all who come to Him and receive it.
Do you still fear retribution from Jesus? Have you fully received His grace? Have you learned to offer grace to others?
Our sins wound us, often more than they wound those who willingly forgive us. Yet, in receiving forgiveness, their wounds become our healing…
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 ESV 

Ask God to help you seek and receive forgiveness. Offer grace. And live at peace.

We’ve come to the end of the beginning. Tomorrow we begin the journey In the Wilderness: Exodus.

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