TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 50:1-21
Bitterness. Resentment. They are so easy and natural to feel for many today, who feel they have been wronged or treated unfairly. The desire to “get even” is part of the carnal man.
In the Atlanta airport, a passenger was loudly and abusively scolding a young ticket agent, who supposedly had negatively impacted his travel plans. When he finished his abusive tirade, the irritated passenger turned and stomped away. The next passenger in line, a preacher, praised the ticket agent for his cool and congenial temperament under such duress. The agent responded modestly, “Oh, it’s nothing. See that guy who just chewed me out? Well, he may be on his way to Philadelphia, but his bags are on the way to Lima, Peru.”
When the patriarch Jacob died, the inspired record reveals that his sons’ grief is overshadowed by their fear of Joseph’s retribution (Genesis 50:15). You see, up to this point Joseph, the mistreated brother (Genesis 37:18-28), has been cordial, treating his brothers with an uncommon mercy. But now, the question is, “With Jacob gone, how will Joseph treat us? Will he retaliate? Will he exact his vengeance?” The answer we know is “No!” Joseph’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness are genuine. Joseph’s merciful response toward his brothers challenges us with three Biblical principles to live by.
- Leave the getting even to God. God says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19; see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
- God expects His children to be merciful to those who treat us inappropriately by choosing to turn the other cheek, going the extra mile, loving and praying for them (Matthew 5:38-48; see Luke 6:27-31).
- Receiving mercy from God is dependent upon our willingness to extend mercy to others who have wronged us (Matthew 5:7; James 2:13; see Matthew 6:12, 14-15).
Today, I will…read Genesis 50:1-21 and identify those who have sinned against me. Then, I will specifically pray for each of them and then seek to serve them in some positive way.