A WORD IN PASSING - May 2021
Rendering Good for Evil
“But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it for good...” Genesis 15:20
One of the great Bible characters whose story I find very moving every time I read his narrative, is Joseph. Many lessons can be learned from his life. Forgiveness and reconciliation are my favourites in the list. After all
the evil deeds that his brothers committed against him it would, from a human standpoint, be very difficult to
forgive. But as we see in the story, Joseph saw the bigger picture and witnessed how God worked in his life. He
not only forgave them but with kind words he also comforted them by telling them that although they meant evil
against him God had meant it for good.
Imagine the scene of that ‘revelation moment’ when they trembled and were frightened out of their wits when
Joseph revealed himself to them and reminded them how they had mistreated him - even selling him into slavery.
But Joseph embraced and forgave them. Even after the death of their father Jacob the brothers feared Joseph
would take his revenge. But Joseph did otherwise. Instead of revenge he showed them goodness and love. He even
wept at his brothers suspicion and mistrust of him.
I like Albert Barnes’ commentary on this moment in Joseph’s story, 'And Joseph wept at the distress and
doubt of his brothers. He no doubt summons them before him, when they fall down before him entreating his
forgiveness. Joseph removes their fears. "Am I in God's stead?" that I should take the law into my own hands,
and take revenge. God has already judged them, and moreover turned their sinful deed into a blessing. He
assures them of his brotherly kindness toward them.'
Whenever we feel we have been wronged or mistreated, think of Joseph. The blessing will always be to the
person who forgives. Don’t forfeit that blessing!
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