After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family. The total number of people was seventy-five. Then Jacob went down to Egypt. There he and his family died. Some of their bodies were brought back to Shechem. They were placed in the tomb Abraham had bought. He had purchased it from Hamor’s sons at Shechem. He had purchased it for a certain amount of money. (Acts 7:14-16 NIRV)
On their first trip to Egypt, Jacob sent the sons of Leah and the sons of Rebekah’s maidservants. He kept Rebekah’s son, Benjamin, at home. When his brothers did not recognize him, Joseph questioned them as spies and demanded his half-brothers bring Benjamin to him before he would allow them to have more grain. Jacob agreed to let Benjamin go because they needed food. Joseph continued to question his brothers and found out they were sorry for selling him as a slave. Then Joseph revealed his identity to them and sent for Jacob and other extended family. Jacob and his sons died in Egypt.
This is a story of forgiveness. Joseph, through his gift of dream interpretation, realized God set up circumstances for him to rule Egypt. He followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and understood that God was in control and wanted him to save his family from starvation. Therefore, he did not hold a grudge. In a bigger picture it was God’s will that the Jews learned how it felt to be enslaved in Egypt since they held Egyptian slaves. This story tells of how God arranged for the Jews to go to Egypt.
Can you think of an adverse circumstance where God may have set up a situation for you to learn and become stronger in character? Consider forgiving the person who caused it and remember God is in control. He has a purpose for your life and wants to mold you into the person who can fulfill it.
Father God, I praise you for being in control and knowing what’s best for me. Help me to forgive those who close doors in my life because I know you will open others. Thank you for giving me a crown for my ashes. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.