Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, May 31, 2012

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This must be one of the most grace-saturated chapters in the Bible! Forgiveness brings forth reconciliation and lifelong wounds are beginning to heal. Joseph cannot take the emotional pressure of facing his brothers any longer and he finally reveals himself as the one whom they had last seen begging for brotherly mercy while traveling traders dragged him off to Egypt into slavery. But while the long years and relentless sorrow of their father has pushed remorse and guilt deep into their consciences, the course of time has also providentially catapulted Joseph through temptation and humiliation into a position of power which preserves not only food against famine in Egypt, but also life for the line of promise in Canaan. As the brothers’ unbelief turns first into shock, then fear, and finally into the realization that God has mercifully overruled their evil plotting, guilt finally meets forgiveness and is consumed in an embrace that echoes tearfully through the royal residence right up to pharaoh’s ears, giving testimony to the power of divine providence and grace. It almost cannot get better, but it does. As they race back to Canaan, energized through the burden of sin being lifted off their shoulders, an old man who has been slowly withering away in his grief over Joseph and in his disappointment over his other sons, revives and finds a new lease on life. Maybe today there can be a moment in your life where old sorrow turns into new life through forgiveness and reconciliation.

 

Martin Klingbeil

Professor of Biblical Studies and Archaeology

Southern Adventist University