Live to Forgive: The Silver Lining of Grace

Payback! What do we think of when we see this word?

Is it revenge or is it grace?

Is it a good thing that God wants us to relinquish revenge to him?

It was 20 silver pieces that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery for after Reuben talked them out of killing him (Genesis 37). Why did they want to kill their own brother? Because they were jealous of him being favored by their father and the perception they thought Joseph had of himself through dreams.

Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.”

It was Joseph’s silver cup and the plan he had as a man in high position with the Pharoah that would bring his brothers to bow before him (Genesis 44:14). The dream he had spoken to his brothers long ago which was the tipping point of their jealousy was no longer a dream but a reality. From being a slave in Potiphar’s house to being seduced by Potiphar’s wife, and being sent to prison with a false accusation, the Lord continued to be with Joseph. Eventually after interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams, he was placed in the highest position possible that would allow him to help his family and save many others during the famine.

What Joseph’s brothers meant for evil, God used for good. Jacob was tormented by the fear that he would have to mourn the loss of three sons, Joseph, Simeon, and Benjamin. Can we all picture the emotion evoked from this family reunion? Joseph hid his identity until just the right moment.

The silver lining of this story is grace. Even after all that Joseph had been through, he did not seek revenge with his brothers. His forgiveness was incomprehensible to them. When their father died, they could not help but fear Joseph would then pay them back for the evil they had done to him (Genesis 50), They bowed before him once again and Joseph reassured them that what they meant for harm, God meant for good (Genesis 50:20).

The silver lining of grace restored Joseph’s family to each other.

Jesus death on the cross for my sins is the silver lining of grace through which I have been restored to God’s family. God didn’t fear losing his son, he sent him as the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be forgiven and inherit eternal life – a payback that is incomprehensible.

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