Genesis 50:19-21 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not; for am I in place of God? But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. (KJV)
I love the words, but God. Two very small words packed with endless potential and possibility! Do you need hope? In these two words is ALL the hope we need! I hang on them every day, all day, and through the long and seemingly endless nights of the soul. Joseph, the nearly perfect soul of the Old Testament, knew these too.
Joseph confronts and comforts his brothers. Now that is tact! He acknowledges what was done to him but recognizes how the LORD was in control of every step that brought them all to this place and time. Our God knows the future.
The words, “fear not,” are powerful because Joseph is not playing God. He will not take justice into his own hands but leaves it with God. In other words, Joseph is saying, I will not seek revenge, restitution, or recompense. That is grace.
We fear physical harm, we have lived emotional and psychological harm, we experience social injustice and sadly we too may have caused harm to others whether intentionally or unintentionally. In this terrorist (one who uses force or intimidation to achieve an objective) rich environment (let’s be honest we all may have been a terrorist at one time or another), we need to grasp the magnitude of what Joseph understood. Our lives are in God’s hands. Joseph was sold as a slave, put into prison for false accusations, was betrayed, forgotten, and yet his life was spared because God numbers our days. (Psalm 139:16) Justice is in God’s hands and for all mankind before the foundation of the earth was laid, Jesus had decided to pay our debt—every bit of it. (I Peter 1:20)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus faced fear full in the face. It was here in the Garden he was most like you and me: anxious, afraid, abandoned, and yet He chose to do it anyway. (Hebrews 4:15)
Joseph’s brothers found grace and forgiveness. Can we too offer this same grace and forgiveness to those in our world who have failed to do the right thing? Can we speak the truth in love? We can ONLY if we too acknowledge God’s control over the difficult circumstances in our lives and stop believing the lie that if He loved us He would not let bad things happen. God did not spare His own Son pain and suffering “to save much people alive.” What in heaven’s name makes me think I would be spared every injustice? This is some deep water we just sailed into. Will you trust the “Lord to work all things together for your good?” (Romans 8:28) If not, even the Master Lifeguard will not be able to rescue you because you will not stop fighting Him. It was Joseph’s faith in Providence that built the bridge that his brothers crossed and brought the reunion between Joseph, his brothers, and his beloved father that he could only have dreamed possible.
Father, thank you for such undeserved grace. May I be willing to build bridges over troubled waters to bring reconciliation. Thank you for two words that offer limitless hope to weary souls as you lay down plank upon plank building our bridge of trust in You.