Have you felt offended gravely? What did/do you feel like doing to your offender?
Supposing your siblings plotted to kill you, sold you into slavery, then as a slave you get falsely accused of a crime, get thrown into prison where you languish for a dozen years then somehow get promoted to a very high government position and one day your siblings, not recognizing you, come to you asking for help, what would you tell them? Hmmm… <tapping fingers on chin…>
In Genesis 45:5, Joseph (of the technicolor dreamcoat fame) who went through that exact route, told his brothers: “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.” How could he excuse his offenders from self-condemnation and wanting to beat themselves up? It would have seemed the least form of retribution to ask.
Through the pages of Joseph’s suffering-rich life, God was with him (Gen 39:2, 3, 5, 23) and he was mindful of God (Gen 39:9; 41:16, 25, 28, 32). Joseph saw the sovereignty of God and His purpose “because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Joseph did not attribute his suffering to his brothers but to God allowing and using those circumstances to bring him to where he had to be—just in charge of powerful Egypt, second only to Pharaoh (GEn 41:41-44)
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph reiterates his message: 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph blessed his brothers with provision, forgiveness, and favor (Gen 45: 5, 7-8; 21-23)
Dear Lord, help me to divert my focus from my circumstances to Your goodness, sovereignty, love, and faithfulness. I surrender past, present and future offenders to You. Please help me to desire Your perfect plan for me. Please nip my stubbornness that I may not hinder Your good purposes from being accomplished. Help me to learn from Joseph’s example to live out the days of suffering as unto You trusting that You are on top of the situation and are working things out to accomplish good in Jesus’s name amen.