Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Joseph Forgives

on June 26, 2015

josephMemory Verse: Luke 6:37

Bible Truth: While running your race God wants you to walk in forgiveness.


Jacob and his family lived in Canaan long ago. Jacob had twelve sons, but his favorite son was Joseph. Joseph was the first son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachael. Jacob loved Joseph so much because of the love that he had for Rachael. Jacob showed favoritism toward Joseph. He had a robe (tunic) made for Joseph that was very distinct in color (many colors). Because of the special treatment that Jacob gave Joseph, it made him very unpopular with his brothers. They began to have negative feelings and thoughts about their brother, Joseph.

Genesis 37:1-4 NKJV

“Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.”

Sometimes Joseph would go out into the field to help his brothers take care of the flocks. Joseph did not agree with his brothers concerning some of the things that they did while they were working, so he would tell his father about it. Joseph’s brothers began to resent him because he would give a report of their negligence to their father. In other words, they thought he was a “tattle tail.”

Genesis 37:5-11 NKJV

“Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the
matter in mind.”

God gave Joseph a prophetic dream Joseph. In his excitement and enthusiasm he told his brothers about the dream. By telling the dream to his brothers it made them like Joseph even less. It caused the brothers to begin to have hostile thoughts about Joseph. In the eyes of the brothers, the dream was an insult to them. They understood the meaning of Joseph’s dream and what it meant for them and for Joseph.

One day Joseph was sent by his father to check on his brothers. his father wanted to know if all was well with his brothers.

Genesis 37:12-18 NKJV

“Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.” Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?” So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.” And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.”

The brothers could see Joseph coming off in the distance and they plotted to get rid of Him. All of them, but Reuban, wanted to kill him. Reuban suggested that they throw Joseph into a pit instead of killing him. So they grabbed him, stripped off his beautiful robe, and threw him in a pit.

Genesis 37:19-23 NKJV

“Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.”

As Joseph was in the pit, nine of his brothers sat down to eat their meal. While eating they say a group of Ishmaelites coming from Galead on their way to Egypt. Judah told his brothers that they should sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites. His brothers agreed.

Genesis 37:25-27 NKJV

“And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened.”

Joseph’s brothers pulled him up out of the pit and they sold him to the group traveling through for twenty sheckels of silver.

Genesis 37:28 NKJV

“Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.”

Reuben had not been with his brothers when they sold Joseph into slavery. When he returned to the pit to get Joseph out, Joseph was not there. Reuben was very distressed because he had not intended to hurt Joseph. He was going to secretly remove Joseph from the pit and take him back home.

Genesis 37:29 NKJV

“Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes.”

Reuban returned to his brothers to tell them that Joseph was gone. The brothers then killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in it in order to deceive their father into thinking that Joseph was killed by a wild animal.

Genesis 39:1-6 NKJV

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”

In Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar. Joseph was an excellent worker and in time he was put in charge of Potiphar’s household.

Genesis 39: 7-18 NKJV

“And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

One day, Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph and him of assaulting her. This made Potiphar very angry and he had Joseph thrown into prison.

Genesis 39:19-20 NKJV

“So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.”

Years later, after revealing the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph was released from prison and placed in a very high position. Joseph was made the governor over the land. People would come to him to buy grain during the famine. One day, his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize him.

Genesis 41:57 – 42:1-3 NKJV

“So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands. When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, ‘Why do you look at one another?’ And he said. ‘Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.’ So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.”

Joseph had the power to get even with them for what they had done to him, however he chose to forgive. The second time his brothers came to buy grain, he revealed to them who he was. He even invited his entire family to come and live with him in Egypt where they would have plenty of food.

Genesis 45:3-8 NKJV

“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph; does my father still live? But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come near to me.’ So they came near. Then he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ”

Camp Challenge

Forgiveness can be described as letting go of my anger and my desires to punish someone who has wronged me. Joseph is one example of a person who made the choice to forgive. Joseph realized that although his brothers had intended to harm him, God had a greater plan. God had sent Joseph to Egypt to prepare for the famine that would be coming. Through Joseph’s preparations many people were saved from starvation during the famine.

As believers we must strive to follow Jesus’ example in all things – including forgiveness. While on the cross, Jesus chose to forgive those who were crucifying Him.

Luke 23:34 NKJV

“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Forgiveness is vital for God’s plan for our life.

Luke 6:37 NKJV

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Jesus tells us in His own words that if we want God to forgive us of our sins, then we must forgive those who have hurt us or done us wrong.

Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to help you forgive others.

Ask God to help you not hold grudges against others.

Ask God to help you let go of your anger against someone who has wronged you.

Ask God to help you let go of your desires to punish or get even with those who has wronged you.


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