Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
An Opportunity for Grace
September 13, 2020

An Opportunity for Grace

September 13, 2020

Gen 50:15-21

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

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J. Joseph’s reassurance (50:15–21). Now, however, the brothers feel that Joseph will retaliate since their father is out of the way. Nowhere is it recorded that Jacob gave to his other sons the directives which verse 16 claims he did. Either the brothers are fabricating this, or they are recalling a legitimate word that did not make it into the biblical record.

Their apprehension is all for naught. They fail to see that Joseph is different, that he is compassionate and forgiving, that he is unlike his brothers. “Am I in the place of God?” he asks. Then Joseph follows with a classic line: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (v. 20). The best evidence of spiritual maturity in Joseph’s life is his ability to relate all the experiences of his life, good and bad, to the sovereign will of God.[1]

Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3


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  1. Victor P. Hamilton, “Genesis,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 37.


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