December 10: Our Greatest Glory – Forgiveness and Love

Scripture Reading: Genesis 45:6-15

“And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; and there will I sustain thee.” (Genesis 45:10-11a)

After revealing who he was, and explaining to them that God had permitted them to do what they had done to him for their good, and the good of humanity, Joseph assumes the role of a leader and commands them what they must do. “For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and there are yet five years, in which there shall be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to give you a remnant on the earth, and to save you alive for a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 45:6-8).

He adds, “Hasten ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him: Thus saith thy son Joseph: God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not. And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast;” (Genesis 45:9-10).

Two years of the terrible famine had passed. Already many had died in the surrounding nations, and Joseph knew there were still five years of famine left. He knew his large family of seventy souls could never survive that long in Canaan by carrying grain into the land. The only thing they could do was to move immediately to Egypt. He had, no doubt, already chosen the place where he wanted them to live — the land of Goshen. The Haftorah says “the railway from Alexander to Suez now runs through the district where Joseph’s father and family settled. It was the best pasture-land in Egypt.”

“And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen… “ Joseph continues, “And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast” (Genesis 45:10).

Joseph knew that when his brothers told their father he was alive and was inviting them to move to Egypt and that he and the whole family would be living close to Joseph, it would encourage and inspire him to make the journey in his old age. Jacob had journeyed a great deal in his lifetime. His father, Isaac, had never left Canaan, and the south-land, the Negev, but Jacob was more like his grandfather, Abraham, who, in his lifetime had journeyed from the Ur of the Chaldees to Mesopotamia, from there to Canaan, and on down to Egypt, and then back again to Canaan. And even there, he had moved about a great deal. The writer of Hebrews aptly describes him as a man who “looked for a city, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

“And there will I sustain thee; for there are yet five years of famine; lest thou come to poverty, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast” (Genesis 45:11). Joseph warns them that if they do not move they might easily perish during the coming years of famine. He promises to take care of them and provide for their every need. He was living the Law of Love, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20).

“And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall hasten and bring down my father hither” (Genesis 45:12-13).

His brothers were filled with incredulity at the sight and realization of the greatness, the riches, the power and the glory of their brother Joseph. He commanded them to report to their father what they had seen with their eyes.

Someday, when the rewards of Eternity are bestowed upon the saints, we too will stand in awe and amazement at the glory which some of the Lord’s most humble servants and handmaidens will receive. Many who have been despised, mocked, ridiculed, called by names (even by the Church), and have been persecuted and killed, will receive great Glory from the Father.

Even you, dear reader, you who have suffered so much, will be honoured and vindicated in the presence of those who today hate you and persecute you.

“And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him” (Genesis 45:14-15).

One day we will meet our loved ones whom we have not seen for many years. Oh what a day of rejoicing that will be! Those loved ones who are waiting for us on the other shore will rejoice with us when we cross the “Jordan” to our Heavenly Home!

Joseph then gave all his brothers the kiss of forgiveness. I wonder, did he have a struggle with forgiving his brothers! During the months that Simeon was in the Egyptian prison, did Joseph ever visit him? He seems to have been the cruelest of the brothers. But prison life may have softened Simeon’s heart.

We may have difficulty on earth forgiving those who do us harm; but when we are in Heaven, we will be able to forgive our debtors, for the love of God will be perfected in our hearts. We will all be like Joseph.

May God prepare us for Heaven by setting us free from all resentment, anger, and unforgiveness. Help me, Lord, to kiss my brothers who have hurt and harmed me, as Joseph did his!

Forgiveness and love was the true Glory of Joseph. His greatness was in his ability to receive, pardon, and provide for his brothers in spite of all they had done to him. After he blessed them, they talked to him. Only then was “fellowship restored.”

 

 

In the Beginning by Gwen Shaw
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