Scripture: Genesis 45:1-8, Romans 8:28
Symbol we use: A piece of brightly colored cloth cut into a basic shirt/coat shape.
Meditation: It usually takes hindsight to recognize God's hand at work in a difficult situation. I doubt Joseph would have so readily forgiven his brothers if he had encountered them while still a new slave in Potiphar's household, or while enduring prison for a false accusation, or while sitting, forgotten for so many years, in that prison. Yet with all those troubles behind him he was able to look back and recognize how they prepared him for his role as second in command of all of Egypt, in a position to measure out grain to his family so they would not starve. It was probably particularly difficult for him and for Jacob to be separated for so long, yet God knew when the time was right for them to be reunited. He knew, among other things, when Joseph was ready to forgive his brothers completely and to publicly acknowledge that their betrayal led to very good results.
Have you struggled to forgive someone? Christ asks us to forgive even we never see positive consequences resulting from their betrayal. Even if their sin causes us nothing but pain, we are still told to forgive. Someday we may look back, like Joseph, and see incredible blessings which God produced from the awful deed of another human being. Today we may see none of that yet, but we still need to forgive and trust that He will bring about tremendous good out of what we can only see as evil.
Jesse Tree Week 1: The Patriarchs
Sunday: Root of Jesse
Tuesday: Fall of Mankind
Jesse Tree Week 2: The Formation of a People Set Apart
Tuesday: Israelites at Mt. Sinai