Thursday – Where Will You Camp?
By Nick Molick
“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:5
When we are presented with painful parts of our past, we have decisions to make. Do we own it? Do we ignore it? Do we rewrite our own history in our minds and make ourselves believe a lie? Also, if in this past we have been wronged by someone, do we act in anger and confront or do we acknowledge what they did and forgive? Looking at these options, and there are admittedly many more options than these, I would like to think I would tend toward forgiveness, moving on with my life decision, but we know that isn’t always the case. This is what makes the lessons of the Bible so vitally important to each of us every single day.
The story of Joseph and his family begins its crescendo in chapters forty-five and forty-six. Here we see Joseph is overwhelmed by the presence of his brothers and he reveals himself to them. He also reveals his heart in that he forgives the brothers while he states very clearly and plainly that he has a very good reason to be angry with them. Joseph states, in Genesis 45:5 to his brother to “not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here...”. This is an incredible display of a heart that is after God’s because Joseph reveals in the rest of the verse that Joseph understands that it was not his brothers who put him on this path that led him to be the second in command over all of Egypt. It was God Himself interceding in Joseph’s life.
God put Joseph on a path that not only reconciled him with his family, but this God-given path led Joseph to save thousands and thousands of people living in the land controlled by Egypt. Joseph says in the rest of Genesis 45:5 that “for God sent me before you to preserve life.” This is the thought of a man who loved his relationship with God and saw how God was at work in what was seemingly a chaotic life.
So, what are we to do with that? Joseph gives us the great example of when we are confronted with difficult, painful parts of our past we have a choice, just the like the many outlined at the top of this page. Joseph did not choose anything easy, but he chose the hard work of forgiveness. I believe in his many days in captivity he felt the heart of God speak to him and reveal that forgiveness is healthy and helpful and so much better than camping in bitterness. Joseph could have chosen to stay and camp in bitterness but with God’s example he chose to forgive and camp his family in Goshen.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 44