Saturday, January 29, 2011

Repay evil with a blessing

The story of Joseph is one that for some reason, always fascinates me! It’s one of my very favorite stories in the Bible. Now, I’m not talking about the little kids story of Joseph and his colorful coat; I mean the whole story. From the time he was a little boy in Israel with his colorful coat, until the time Pharaoh placed him in charge of all Egypt. The story of Joseph has many lessons we can learn from us, but I wan to focus on one that stood out to me the most: Joseph was compassionate and repaid evil with good.

Many of us have siblings; I have four! As I was reading through these chapters in Genesis, I was trying to picture everything that Joseph’s brothers did to him. And I tried imagining myself in his place. As I thought of what my reaction would be, I realized that I’d most likely be angry and full of rancor towards them. I wouldn’t want to see them again and if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be a joyous family reunion.

As I read the story, I couldn’t help but marvel at the way Joseph responded. Joseph trusted God. He knew that God was in control of his life. He knew that God was in control of his life. He loved God so much so that he was happy and joyful to see himself reunited with his family! He gave them food to eat and returned their money when they paid for it, and eventually, he gave them the best parts of the land so his family could settle in Egypt closer to him.
Joseph obeyed the command in 1 Peter 3:9 which says:

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil
with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a
blessing. "

He repaid evil with a blessing and we can see in his life that he certainly inherited the blessings. Although the days ahead of him after being sold into slavery looked quite gloomy, God certainly took control. He took control as he always does when His children give themselves fully to Him. That only happened though, because Joseph was willing to let God do so. God gave Joseph a fine place to live, good clothing, an excellent job, and a status in Egypt that was very uncommon for an Israelite man.

1 Peter 4:19

“Keep on doing what is right and trust your lives to the God who created you for
He will never fail you.”

Joseph gave his brothers the best of the best when he saw them. He didn’t try to payback what was done to him or simply ignore them. He could’ve chosen to do that. He didn’t though. Joseph chose to do what was right. Undoubtedly, like any other human, he must have felt angry or sad at the thought of what his own brothers had done to him. Nevertheless, he did what was right; He trusted his life to God and He didn’t fail him. He prepared Joseph for a special purpose and didn’t fail him. All this was able to happen because Joseph had the right heart and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

Matthew 5:43-44

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your
enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good
to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute

Joseph was used and persecuted. He was hated and considered an enemy by his brothers. When Joseph had the opportunity to show kindness, though, he did. He loved his "enemies" (which in this case were his brothers), and he blessed those who cursed him. In the way he treated his brothers, Joseph blessed them.

What do you think about Joseph’s example? Can you think of any other stories that show how someone portrayed such kindness towards those who did evil towards them?


1 comment:

  1. Great post Sophie!

    What do you think about Joseph’s example?

    Joseph's example, in my opinion, is the best story when dealing with brother/sister problems. So many times we act upon revenge for something smaller than being thrown into a hole and sold. It must of been tough for Joseph, but he did it. He certainly deserved all those blessings.

    Can you think of any other stories that show how someone portrayed such kindness towards those who did evil towards them?

    Jesus is the first person that comes to mind. Maybe David too, when Saul was trying to kill him, yet David had the self control to spare his life. Both of these people had love for their abusers. That love covered all sin, just like Jesus's love covered all our sin. Maybe we don't think we can love people that hurt us in that way because we really haven't made the choice to love everyone unconditionally.