Most Christians know the life of Joseph. He was born to Israel (Jacob) in his older years, and was the favorite son of the wife whom Jacob loved, Rebecca. He had twelve other brothers who despised their father’s love for Joseph and sought to do something about it.
We see the Lord’s hand on Joseph’s life as he was sold into slavery, taken to a foreign land, accused wrongly of a crime and placed in prison. He was eventually elevated to the point of being second under command of Egypt. The Lord orchestrated a famine to drive Joseph’s family to come to Egypt to get food. Joseph had the opportunity to retaliate, and in the world’s eyes he would have been in the right to do so. But the Lord was so strong in Joseph, he offered his brothers forgiveness. He even made a way for them, their families and others to move into the best area of Egypt.
Joseph’s father, Israel, died. Joseph’s brothers once again were afraid of the possibility of Joseph retaliating. Genesis 50:19-21, gives Joseph’s response to his brother’s fear. “But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? 20 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. 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.”
How does a man get to the point of forgiveness that he offers assurance of forgiveness to those who have wronged him? How can he offer a perpetual reconciliation to those who have hurt him deeply? I believe the answer to this question is having the attitude Christ would have. In Philippians 2:3-7 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which w
as also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Joseph’s question to His brothers, “Am I in the place of God?” may also be a statement of fact. God does place us in positions such as Joseph was in. God many times will even bring Christians back around to deal with situations requiring reconciliation because these situations are required for their spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity means becoming like Christ. These situations may seem to be impossibilities. But this is where we decrease and He increases (John 3:30). This is where Christ has to take control (Gal. 2:20). Remember, "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). Let God do His work in and through you.
God bless you as you live for Christ,