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The Importance of Forgiveness

In today’s bible discussion we are going to take a look at the story of Joseph in Genesis and the importance of forgiveness.

What is one thing that someone has done that you think would be hard to forgive?

Let’s start off in Genesis 37 where we see Joseph, the son of Israel , being loved by his father so much that his brothers became jealous. They were so envious that they decided to sell his brother into slavery: “Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.” Genesis 37: 26-27.

How would you feel if your own family was to sell you onto slavery?

Do you feel in your walk with God sometimes your relationships can be difficult?

Eventually the slave traders took Joseph into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh’s officers. After being wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife for trying to sleep with her he is put into jail. There he eventually gains a reputation for interpreting dreams and is summoned to interpret a dream for the Pharoah, and by correctly doing so he is put in charge over the land of Egypt.

A famine comes over the land and Joseph brothers come to Egypt to search for food and Joseph is challenged with the choice to forgive them..

Not recognizing their young Hebrew brother as this matured and prominent Egyptian, he ordered them to return with their younger brother. When the brothers returned with Benjamin, Joseph revealed his identity. The brothers suffered from great remorse of their actions and Joseph forgave them:

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.

Genesis 45: 1-9

How would you respond if that was you?

What do you find significant about Jacob saying it was GOD all along in verse 8: “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt?”

Now let’s turn to Genesis 50: 19-20: “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Here, Joseph continues to forgive, and said GOD used it for his good, what does that mean to you?

Forgiveness is extremely important when it comes to our walk with God. Without the ability to show mercy and show forgiveness we can never reach our full potential as Gods children.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Colossians 3: 13

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