Encounters with God: Forgiveness

 

Genesis 50:15-21
Pastor Gary

Forgiven

Joseph dealt with…
•Jealousy & Hatred of his brothers
•Sexual Temptation
•False Accusation
•Prison Time
•Forgotten in Prison
•Leadership Responsibility

The Famine Hits…
•Jacob/Israel looked at his boys and said, “Why are you just standing there looking at each other… do something! Go to Egypt and see if you can get us some food.” (Genesis 42:1-2 – My Paraphrase)
•Many years since selling Joseph off to caravan
•Joseph recognizes them. They don’t recognize him.
•Joseph didn’t make it easy for them

Genesis 42:21
“Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

Guilt
•Guilt is a horrible thing to live with
•Guilt never drifts away over time
•Brothers have been imprisoned in Guilt for years

Genesis 45:1-2
•45:1 “Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.”
• 45:2 “And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.”

Genesis 45:5, 8, 14-15
•45:5 “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
•45:8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
•45:14-15 “Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.”

Genesis 50:19-21
“But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”

Errors Attached to Forgiveness
•Forgiveness does not require reconciliation with your enemy
•Forgiveness does not require you to forget what happened
•Forgiveness does not mean you stop hurting

Forgiveness
Once we make the choice to forgive we will need God’s help. We cannot fully forgive without God’s supply of forgiveness. We can, however, choose not to punish the one who has hurt us, and we can ask God to help us be aware when we start to entertain the idea of possible punishment or revenge.” (Dallas Willard, Life Without Lack, pp.182-183)

“The person who has the most power over your life is the person you have not forgiven.”
(Dallas Willard)

Anger
“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontation still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.” (Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking)