‘O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us ‘ ~ Psalm 117:1,2
Joseph’s brothers struggled with the notion of being unforgiven. They had wronged him several years ago. They were displeased and jealous that their father Jacob loved Joseph more. When Joseph came to check on them grazing their flock, they plotted to kill him. But due to Reuben’s intervention, the plans were changed and instead he was sold to a band of Ishmaelites who were going to Egypt for trading purpose. They in-turn sold him to Potiphar. But God was with Joseph and he prospered in a foreign land. With God’s favour inspite of the hardships there, he got promoted to becoming second to Pharaoh.
Time rolled by and the predicted famine struck the land. Now Joseph’s brothers had no option but come down to Egypt and buy grain. And so they found themselves before Joseph who as governor of the land was in charge of selling food-grain. The face-to-face encounter happened. Tears of joy and pain were shed. They even asked forgiveness from him. And he forgave them. But after the death of Jacob, his brothers still doubted the goodness of Joseph They concluded that he would take revenge, now that their father is no more. So they sent word to Joseph saying that Jacob has instructed him to forgive them all their sins and wrongdoing. At this Joseph did not get angry or upset. Instead he reassured them of having forgiven them and spoke kindly to them.
The guilt of the past haunts all of us. We try hard to fight it off, but the gnawing guilt lingers on paralyzing lour growth into becoming better individuals. We wonder, “Has God really forgiven us? Are our sins and wrongdoing really forgotten?” The Bible says, “If we confess our sins to the Lord, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ (1 John 1:9). “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12). Whenever our hearts condemn us, all we need to do is just recall the countless times God has spoken of his steadfast love and abiding presence to those who believe in him. We can rest assure of God’s love and rejoice in the blessing of knowing a God like this – who reassures us and speaks kindly to us. How marvelous that our God is not a tyrant or a dictator. He is benevolent and kind, showing his mercy and love to a thousand generations.
Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that whenever I struggle with guilt and doubt I can come to you knowing that you are there to reassure me and speak kindly to me of your deep love for me. Indeed Lord, I am so blessed to know you. Thank you for being so. Amen.”
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