After Israel (Jacob) died, Joseph’s brothers were afraid he would seek revenge on them. “Why?” you may ask. Well, remember that many years ago Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave. He had endured many years of slavery and prison before he became important in Egypt. His brothers were afraid that now that their father wasn’t there to be hurt by his behavior that Joseph would punish them for their actions. They told Joseph that Israel wanted him to forgive them.
Joseph cried when they told him this. He had forgiven them long ago. He told his brothers in Genesis 50:20 that God had used their bad actions to bring good to many people. He told them not to be afraid, that he would continue to care for them and their children.
Joseph had learned an important lesson. We need to forgive others. We make mistakes and don’t want others to stay angry at us, so we need to do the same for them. We need to understand that God can take what they mean for bad and make it good for us. So we just need to trust God to take care of punishing them, (if they need it) and we need to just forgive and move on.
Has anyone ever done something to hurt you or make you mad? Did you want to get back at them? Did you do the right thing? Should you do something different next time? What should you do?