Beyond Forgiveness – Genesis 45:11, Genesis 50:21
“And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” Genesis 45:11/ “Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” Genesis 50:21
Joseph did the unthinkable. It’s one thing to SAY we forgive. It’s another thing TO FORGIVE. It’s an altogether different thing to GIVE to those we FORGIVE. Now imagine NOURISHING those whom we forgive and to whom we give who have hurt and betrayed us, particularly when they are those closest to us. Joseph did it all, and I was shocked after years of studying his story to finally see the word I had missed. NOURISH. What a tender, loving, gentle word, isn’t it?
When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, he through all his ordeals stayed faithful to God and did what was right, earning great favor. The result was in a time of great famine, he had untold provisions when his far-away family had virtually nothing. When his brothers were sent to him by their father for food, they had no idea until later when Joseph revealed his identity he was their brother. Joseph not only FORGAVE them, and GAVE them food and arranged for land to be given them, but he NOURISHED them. The significance? Many of us struggle with forgiving those who betray us, let alone giving to them once we forgive, but to NOURISH them? Hard to conceive, isn’t it? Joseph didn’t toss food to them like animals. He NOURISHED them, a word often associated with a loving parent nourishing a child. Nourishment is about LOVE, isn’t it?
This isn’t merely a story of long ago. It is a convicting challenge for us all to look to Christ for the ability to LOVE, FORGIVE, GIVE to, and NOURISH those who break our hearts, betray our trust, wrong us, and leave us wanting to either lash out or run the other way. I am convicted I need to do a lot more seeking the Lord for His love, grace, and mercy to LOVE, FORGIVE, GIVE TO, and NOURISH those who leave my heart bruised. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Why not pray……