Updated: May 20
We always look at the Joseph story from the side of fulling your destiny and purpose, but we rarely look at it from the side of forgiveness.
We see the experience Joseph went through as hope; and no matter what obstacles, hindrance, sabotage, or stronghold gets in our way, what God says will happen.
When we read the Joseph story we get encourage, and that is the purpose. It was recorded so we can see what God can do. His story lets us see who God is, and that we understand that God is loyal and the promises He makes will happen.
We also, see in the story that nothing can happen to you unless God allows it knowing He does not allow us to be tempted without an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is awesome, because no matter what wrong or unwise desires entice you, He always has a solution for you to not yield to it.
So as it should, the Joseph experience is there to remind us of the power of God’s Word, His loyalty to us, and His sovereignty.
But there was another side to the story that if you don't catch it, you would miss it. Joseph was not betrayed by a stranger or an enemy, he was betrayed by his own flesh and blood.
There are things that outsiders can do to us and although it may hurt or affect us, the magnitude is not the same as if it came from your own relative or someone close to you. If you are an only child, it may be difficult to understand the bond you developed with your siblings as you grow up together. It is nothing that you instigate, it just happens because there is an inner connection that develops as you grow up with this person.
The love that develops between you and your sibling(s) happens out of a relationship. This is the person you can be yourself with and someone you feel comfortable with. They know who you are, your past, and character because they have seen it firsthand. Some siblings are so close, they are each other’s best friends.
Have you notice you can get in a terrible fight with your brother or sister, say all kind of unkind words, and be mad sometimes for days; and as angry as you get, you do not hate them? Now, I understand this is not everyone's story. I know there are some siblings who hate each other like enemies. But I believe with the majority, no offense can come between the love that most siblings have for each other.
You can probably recall someone approaching you about something their sibling did and when you tried to put your 2 cents in, in other words when you made a statement agreeing with what you were told, suddenly the person telling you their story gets angry although they were saying the same thing. The saying goes, “let me talk about my family but you don't.”
One day someone approached me after finding out something her sibling did to me and asked me why I never told them about it. And my response was, “because he is your brother.” She tried to convince me that although he was her brother it was okay talking to her about him. I did not believe her, not because I felt she was blatantly lying, but I am a sister myself and I know how difficult it can be to hear truths about my brothers.
As much as we want to believe we can have a non-bias conversation with someone about our siblings, if you love them, then it is hard to do, if you love them.
I have heard some people slander, degrade, and ruin the reputation of their siblings that left me with my mouth open in shock. Because I genuinely love my brothers and it will be difficult to speak bad against them, even when it is true.
This may or may not have been the relationship that Joseph had with his brothers, but the point is, they were supposed to be his bros' his family, the ones to protect him not hurt him.
You can see by reading the story at least one of them loved him, because he said instead of killing him let us put him in the pit (Genesis 37:21-22). This moment of not taking Joseph's life is proof that no matter what attempt is made on your life, when you are purposed by God, no weapon form against you will succeed (Isaiah 54:17).
It is not clear on how many of them were okay with killing Joseph. Maybe it was just the older brother since during those days, you had reverence for your older sibling and did what they said. Perhaps it was more than one that objected killing Joseph and just went along with it. But the decision was made, and Joseph was to die, until his brother Reuben found an alternative.
Here is Joseph, betrayed by his own flesh and blood, thrown in a pit, then sold as a slave. If this happen to you from your own family, how would you feel? Some of us do not speak to our family members for less.
My father still speaks about the things his siblings did to him, and ironically my father's story is like Joseph. He was not thrown into a pit and sold as a slave, but some of his siblings did betray my father. They tarnished his reputation, influence people to oppose him, helped sabotage his dream, and more. You can still hear the pain in his voice when he reflects on what was done. He never allowed himself to forgive them.
But Joseph did.
Joseph was in the position, second in command in all Egypt to do whatever he wanted and to revenge what his brothers did to him (Genesis 41:39-40). He could have done to them what they did to him and worse. Pharaoh the king and the only person Joseph answered to would not have cared what he did. It is not like he had any type of relationship or connection with Joseph's family from Israel. Pharaoh was an Egyptian and that is where he pledged his allegiance to.
With all that power, authority, and opportunity, Joseph did what most of us would not have done, he forgave his brothers.
Joseph understood something.
He understood that no one, here on earth or out of it, can stop God's will for your life. There is only one person that can stop your purpose and that is you!
You are your only hindrance if you become it.
This understanding of who God is, allowed Joseph to forgive his brothers and not allow unforgiving to become an obstacle to his destiny.
Look at what happened.
Joseph was given a dream that he would rule over his family and that is exactly what happened (Genesis 37:5-11). Whatever attempt was made on his life, whatever pathways he had to travel, all the lies and mistreated he experience did not prevent what was his, to be a ruler over a nation. Joseph remained free from offense so that God's plan can be established in his life.
If you think you got it bad, check again. This was the ultimate betrayal, and it was handled with an understanding that can only come from God. No mortal man or adversary can supersede the plan for your life.
When you become angry with those who wronged you, it opens the door or gives the adversary legal right into your life. How, by acting out of your emotions instead of purpose. Besides why would the Creator put so much emphasis on forgiving if it was not important?
See 'What’s the big deal about forgiving' here.
"There was a woman I knew who was blinded to the deception of not forgiving her husband for the many hurt he caused in her life. This woman used to be a woman of vigor and laughter to now become a woman of anger and dullness. She had every right to be disappointment in her relationship, for her husband was everything but a good man, at least not towards her. But her unforgiveness halted her destiny.
This woman was hand-picked by God to revolutionize her family’s legacy. At a young age, she felt the connection of God in her life. She always knew God existed because he would visit her during her long walks home from school. She was a visionary and would envision taking her family out of the poor community in her country.
At the age of 25 she immigrated to another country to have her dreams come to reality. Everything went well until she met her husband who for 30 or more years became a stumbling block in her life. After their divorce, most would have found a way to 'get their groove back,' get back on their feet; however, this woman did not.
Unfortunately, this woman whether consciously or unconsciously stopped fulfilling her destiny because she could not forgive her husband for the years, he stripped away from her. During her marriage her husband was abusive, demeaning, distant, and cruel. Her vision of love was replaced with regret.
Finally, single and free from the frustration of her marriage she could not let go of the past and focus on the future. This led her into another 15 years of a life full of disappointment instead of purpose. It was only when she decided to forgive her husband did her life take a 360-degree change for the better.
As she shared her story with me, she remembers the day so vividly because when she asked God to help her forgive her husband to move on with her life, it was like a cloud of darkness left from around her and she felt free. She was able to breathe again. Breath of hope, life, and purpose. She regretted the years of not forgiving her husband and how it kept her in a mental prison while he was free living his life. She hated the fact that she waited so long to forgive him and move on.
Now she is in her 70’s and looks back on all the years wasted and what she could have accomplished and built. Fortunately, she vowed to live the remaining years of her life to do what she was born to do, revolutionize her family’s legacy. This woman has now become a savior to her family, who now relies on her for the hope to accomplish the dream left from her father." Excerpt from Book "My Love Is Unconditional" Click here to read more.
Unforgiveness is poisonous.
It alters your life in a negative way. It is a s