The Godly Man: Grace and Graciousness

The orbit of God's graceGrace to Freely Forgive

Joseph and His Brothers

Genesis 50:15-26

Most of you have probably heard that true forgiveness is like forgetting the incident ever happened at all. Is that true? Some people believe it is impossible.

From Joseph's life we see four great strides he takes in showing us what true forgiveness is.

A. Freely Forgiving: (15-17)

You could have taken revenge.

First big step is to realize God is the avenger (Romans 12:19; I Thes 5:15; I Peter 4:19).

Have you ever forgiven someone before they asked? When?

Genesis 50:15-17

15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph should bear a grudge against us and pay us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!" 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father charged before he died, saying, 'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father. "And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

B. Fully Forgiving: (18-20)

You could have taken advantage of those who hurt you.

Second big step is to see God's providence even oversees man's malice (Romans 8:28).

Have you completely forgiven the other?

In spite of their financial dependence on you or your position over them, you chose to humble yourself in God's grand plan.

Genesis 50:15-17

18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants."
19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? "And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. "So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

C. Friendly Forgiving: (21)

You could have ignored them.

Third big step is to show kindness to your enemies. (Luke 6:27 "Do good to your enemies.")

How have you shown kindness to one who has hurt or offended you?

Genesis 50:21

21 "So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

D. Forgetful Forgiving:(22-26)

You could have nurtured your pain so that you couldn't trust them at all.

Fourth big step is to entrust your hopes on those who purposely try to hurt you.

Have you ever forgiven someone to the point that you entrusted yourself into their hands?

Some people can act as if they had forgiven someone, but they really haven't. They cannot really trust them.

Genesis 50:22-26

Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim's sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees. And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you, and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob." Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here." So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Summary Application

I wonder how many of you think holding a grudge and not forgiving someone is not that important to God. Let's remember that it was through Joseph's forgiveness that God could work through Joseph's life in such a remarkable way.

Satan is the accuser, and he is ever so willing to provide you with hints as to why you shouldn't fully forgive someone. Or even better, he will give you crooked eyes so that you think you have really forgiven someone when you haven't.

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom