A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom to be planted. Deeper Roots is focused on analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 45:1-15.
Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows us that when the tables turn we should extend mercy instead of vengeance. Our scripture passage begins with Joseph requesting that everyone leave the room except his brothers. It’s in this moment of privacy that he reveals himself as Joseph to his brothers’ awe. Joseph goes on to tell his brothers not to be upset about what they had done to him years ago. Joseph realized God’s hand was at work to preserve his family’s lives. It was God’s hand that allowed Joseph to be sold and rise up to a position of prominence in a foreign land. Joseph tells his brothers that they must share the news with their father, Israel, and bring him back with them. Joseph goes on to demonstrate reconciliation with his brothers.
Joseph matured over the years. He was able to see the hand of God in every experience he had from being sold into slavery, to prison, and leadership in Egypt. He recognized it was God’s will for him to walk through those seasons to prepare him for what he was getting ready to do. He was strategically placed there to save his family from famine. Joseph had every opportunity to exact revenge on his brothers. He could have held on to the feelings of anger or hurt and sought vengeance. Yet instead he shows mercy. He embraces his brothers and shows that there are no ill feelings toward them.
When the tables turn, what do you have a tendency to do; intact revenge or extend forgiveness? It’s in our human nature to seek revenge. We see the evil things done to us and want to return the favor. It takes a spiritually mature person to see the hand of God in the middle of hard seasons and withhold the urge for payback. Yet Joseph demonstrates that whenever those opportunities present themself, we should seek to demonstrate compassion, not cruelty.