God’s Renewing Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 50:15-26: After Jacob is buried, everyone returns to Egypt and Joseph reassures his brothers that he will take care of them and their families. Joseph dies in Egypt at the age of 110. Today’s reading concludes the book of Genesis, and the relocation of Jacob’s descendants in Egypt sets the stage for what is recorded in the book of Exodus concerning the growing number of Israelites and the threat they pose to a new king who knew nothing about Joseph.
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 After the death of their father, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still hates us and plans to pay us back for all the harm we did to him?” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph: “Before our father died, 17 he told us to ask you, ‘Please forgive the crime your brothers committed when they wronged you.’ Now please forgive us the wrong that we, the servants of your father’s God, have done.” Joseph cried when he received this message.
18 Then his brothers themselves came and bowed down before him. “Here we are before you as your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid; I can’t put myself in the place of God. 20 You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened. 21 You have nothing to fear. I will take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them with kind words that touched their hearts.
The Death of Joseph
22 Joseph continued to live in Egypt with his father’s family; he was a hundred and ten years old when he died. 23 He lived to see Ephraim’s children and grandchildren. He also lived to receive the children of Machir son of Manasseh into the family. 24 He said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will certainly take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land he solemnly promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph asked his people to make a vow. “Promise me,” he said, “that when God leads you to that land, you will take my body with you.” 26 So Joseph died in Egypt at the age of a hundred and ten. They embalmed his body and put it in a coffin.
Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 50:20
[Joseph said to his brothers:] “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.”
What did Joseph’s brothers fear after the death of their father? What message did they send to Joseph? What did Joseph say to reassure them? Reread verses 19 and 20. Can you think of any examples of God causing good results to come out of what, at the time, seemed like a bad situation? Try to recall the details of one such circumstance.
Lord God, trusting in your love and mercy, I come to you knowing I am forgiven and a recipient of your grace. Align my heart to your will and guide my words and actions this day. Amen.
John 5:1-18: Jesus heals a man who had been sick for a long time.