He sat chained to a rocking slave-trader’s cart, watching his sneering brothers disappear over the horizon as the caravan trundled toward Egypt. Had his back-stabbing brothers really done this to him?
Joseph didn’t know it at the time, but he wouldn’t see his brothers or his father again for many years. He’d never see his home again. He didn’t know he’d become an Egyptian slave, then be unjustly accused and tossed into prison for years.
But neither did he know he’d interpret his fellow prisoners’ dreams, which would lead him to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and be promoted to the most powerful position in Egypt under Pharaoh. Nor did he know that in a “twist” of providence, his own childhood dream would come to pass. His treacherous brothers would bow before him, finding themselves at his mercy. Which is exactly what Joseph showed them.
“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (GE 45.5).
How was Joseph able to be so merciful? Because he’d seen how God had used his brothers’ sins to bring incredible blessings into his life and thousands of others’ lives.
Joseph didn’t gloss over their sin – he said, “You sent me here.” But Joseph had seen how God used their betrayal to position him to provide food in a famine for multitudes, including his brothers and father. Now he saw the bigger picture – God had sent him to Egypt.
When others hurt us it’s hard to see past the offense to God’s grand designs. It’s like trying to see through a forest at ground level. We need to rise to 10,000 feet to see the bigger picture through the eyes of faith. When we remember God is sovereign, it’s much easier to be merciful.
photo by FutureFashion