“For truly I was carried away from the land of the Hebrews by unlawful force, and here too I have done nothing for which they should put me into the dungeon” (Genesis 40:15). Joseph had been sold into slavery thirteen years prior to this moment. God had given him a dream, which he shared; and the people around him allowed jealous hatred to harm him. However, what the enemy planned for his demise, God used for His good. We see the scripture … all things work together for good … actively working in Joseph’s life. A series of betrayals led to the plan of God coming to pass.
Joseph was aware of his circumstances. He had a moment of weakness when his half-brothers came to him during the great famine. They did not recognize him, but he remembered them and spoke harshly to them. He put them in prison for 3 days, accusing them of espionage. He sent them back to the others, telling them to bring the youngest brother to validate their claim of not being spies. “And they said one to another, We are truly guilty about our brother, for we saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he begged us [to let him go], and we would not hear. So this distress and difficulty has come upon us. Reuben answered them, did I not tell you, Do not sin against this boy, and you would not hear? Therefore, his blood is required [of us].” Joseph heard them. He had to turn away from them as he cried.
I could imagine the memories. I could imagine the pain of that moment resurfacing, and the thoughts of revenge bristling beneath the surface. God wanted me to hear what He was saying in that moment. It didn’t matter if I felt forsaken or caused someone else to feel like it; He was speaking to me. I had to tender my heart to His Spirit. I had to let it go!
God wants each of us to let it go. Joseph’s brother’s had been carrying around the guilt of their actions for years. Joseph had been living with the reminder of their betrayal for more than a decade. We have to know that God is concerned about the hearts of all involved. He wants the betrayed to forgive and He was the betrayer to accept His forgiveness.
There are some of us who can identify with this story. We have guilt and pain from our pasts, which have grown with us. It has festered in our hearts. It takes up space that belongs to God. He is saying to us, “Let it go.” He knows what has been done to us at the hand of someone else. He is the Balm needed for our healing. He knows whether we have been wallowing around, feeling guilty or forsaken. Jesus shed His blood for our sins … to have them erased. He blotted them out. That which happened in the past was not meant to keep us bound for the rest of our lives. God incorporated it into His plan to prosper us. We are always in the position to receive God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
We can talk to God. We can tell Him we are hurting and that we do not know what to do with all of the pain. “I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord” (Psalm 40:1-3).
No matter who has left us and gone about their way, God has not abandoned us to our pasts and the things that we have encountered. He has made, or is in the process of making, our lives a testimony that will cause others (and us) to worship Him.
We are not forsaken!
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