God sent me ahead of you . . . to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Gen. 45:7)
We are used to overlooking the “humanity” of people, by which we usually mean their sinfulness and ours. Even most of those whose stories are told in the Bible experienced moments of weakness and failure. But for just a moment, consider Joseph’s humanity, by which I mean his holiness.
More than most, Joseph had every opportunity to lose his way in life and faith. He was the favorite son and least favorite brother. Some of his brothers wanted to kill him, and others settled for selling him to traveling merchants. His master’s wife attempted to seduce him, and when he did the right thing, he was still wrongfully accused and thrown into prison. The cupbearer who promised to put in a good word for him left him to rot in prison. When he finally had the opportunity to interpret the pharaoh’s dreams, he was suddenly exalted to second position in the most powerful kingdom in the world. He was dressed in the finest clothes and jewelry, made to tour Egypt in the pharaoh’s chariot, and placed in charge of the world’s richest economy. And then one day those ten brothers who had betrayed him showed up in his office looking for assistance.
At every twist and turn, Joseph had trusted, waited, resisted temptation, and somehow kept his head screwed on straight. Then he did the most amazing thing. He forgave.
Be slow to become angry and ready to forgive.
Kevin Scott is a pastor, acquisitions editor, and author of ReCreatable. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with his wife and three children.