His Forgiving Heart

Genesis 45

We talk about forgiveness a lot in this devotional. But we realize there are certain circumstances when forgiveness is difficult, if not impossible. Time and understanding will help each of us to forgive—and we have to realize that there is no alternative plan—forgiveness is imperative.

 Joseph had to forgive despite living through horrifying experiences.

Joseph is believed to be a type of Christ. His own family rejected him as Israel rejected Christ. He suffered for crimes he did not commit. Joseph was called upon to save the world from starvation as Christ was called upon to save the world from damnation.

Joseph best typified the life of Christ in his ability to mirror the forgiveness of Christ. No one in the Bible demonstrates Christ-like forgiveness better than Joseph. Unfortunately, his brothers reveal to us the typical bitter, fearful, guiltridden person of the world (Genesis 42:21; 44:34; 45:3-5; 50:15-18).

 Let’s look at the amazingly tender heart of Joseph.

  • Joseph demonstrates his tender heart toward his brothers when he weeps upon seeing them (v. 3). Have the circumstances of life caused you to become callused and resentful?
  • Joseph saw the higher reason for God allowing the offense (v. 5; 50:20). It might seem impossible to realize what you’ll learn from the offense—until you see God’s reasoning.
  • Joseph looked for the good in the bad. Carefully read all that Joseph said in verses 5-8.
  • Joseph gave God the glory throughout his troubles (vv. 5-8).
  • Joseph cared for the ones who persecuted him (vv. 10-11; 18-23).
  • What are you to do for your enemies (Matthew 5:44)?