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Loving Forgiveness


Genesis 45:1-10

Verse 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.


We return to Joseph of the Old Testament today. Yesterday we saw what looked like a low point in his life but today we will see how his loving obedience to God set up one of the greatest examples of God’s loving forgiveness in all of Scripture.


Joseph undoubtedly never expected to see his father and brother, Benjamin, again. And seeing his other brothers again probably brought mixed feelings. But this is their second time to town for supplies due to the famine and they have obeyed his command to bring his little brother with them.


It gets to the point that he can no longer pretend that they are just some random men there for supplies. He sends his attendants out which may have alarmed the brothers after everything else that they have experienced since dealing with this strange foreign governor. But then he gets down to business and they can’t believe their eyes and ears. They can’t help but be in fear because they all remember that they had sold him and lied to their dad about him being dead. The evil deed of their youth has now caught up to them when some of them are already grandfathers.


But once again Joseph shows his love for God, this time by revealing his love for his brothers. He even tells them that their evil scheme was used by God for their protection. Isn’t that a twist that they wouldn’t have been expecting! The guilt and shame they have carried with them all these years is now being forgiven and redeemed. They have gained back a brother they had felt was lost forever and because of this reunion they knew that their sorrow-filled father would again find joy in his old age.


When we are committed to God and His love, we will find that He works all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). This isn’t a permission to sin but a reason to love in word and deed. This gift of loving forgiveness is the the very reason Jesus was born into this world. Is there a better reason to celebrate?


Making It Personal

When in your life has God used a sinful act done against you to grow you and bring Himself glory? What did you learn during that time about forgiveness? How has forgiving others helped you see your need for God’s forgiveness in your own life?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you had to forgive someone who has hurt you? Did forgiving that person help you see how much you need Jesus’ forgiveness when you hurt Him? What have you hurt Jesus about recently?


Closing Prayer

Father, we know we have sinned against You. We hurt You and others in our lives and for that we need forgiveness. Father, please forgive us for not loving in the way You desire us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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