“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?” Gen 50:19
Joseph had been grievously wronged. He had been attacked, thrown in a well, and sold into slavery. He worked as a servant in a rich man’s house and ended up in prison for several years. All these things came about because of his brother’s jealousy. They were angry because he was the favorite son of their father. As time went along Joseph rose, in the providence of God, to a very powerful position in Egypt. We read in Genesis chapters 41-50 how God used all these misfortunes to prepare Joseph and position him to be a wonderful blessing to his family and the rest of the world. Jacob, Joseph’s father, moved to Egypt and spent his last years in peace with his sons all around him in love and harmony. Jacob died and his sons buried him. That is when fear came to the hearts of the brothers. They had been living with a burdened conscience since they moved to Egypt. They were afraid that Joseph, who was now the most powerful man in Egypt, would get vengeance upon them now that their father was gone. In tears they approach Joseph to seek forgiveness. He wept with them. Even though they had caused him much pain and hard ship, he recognized that the Lord had used those things to accomplish His own plan. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20) He asks the question, “Am I in the place of God?” He is saying that he cannot give out punishments. That is Gods privilege. He reassures them, “Don’t fear me for I will not seek revenge.”
Maybe you have committed a trespass against someone and are living in fear of the consequences. The lesson is from Joseph’s brothers. They came to him and sought forgiveness from the one that they had offended. God would have us obey His Word and seek forgiveness and trust Him for the consequences. Joseph’s words to us are these. God is in charge of retribution. When we obey we need not fear.
Fear not to seek forgiveness
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