Tag Archive for Forgiveness

How A Father Saved His Family. Genesis 50:15-22

Israel was saved from starvation by the wisdom and providence of God through Joseph (Ge.37-47). And Israel was saved as a family by a Father’s instruction in forgiveness.  Genesis 50 shows us that forgiveness is a prominent Bible theme. (cf. Ge.3:15).

Forgiveness is the object and an essential element in God’s plan to save man and those man loves.  It must be received, practiced and demonstrated!  Like Peter, most, if not all of us wonder how to practice it (Mt.18:21f).  God gives instructions and examples to show us how.  Consider accounts of Philemon and Onesimus, the sisters at Philippi, Peter and Paul, and Paul and John Mark!

Surely forgiveness is as divine a subject as we could hope to study.  It is a divine nature that we must desire to partake. (2Pt.1:4-9).

And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. (Ge.50:15-17).

Here are lessons for the offender.  Guilt afflicts until forgiveness is sought. (Mt.5:22-25).  Things may get worse in relationship where forgiveness is not held as premium. (Mt.18:14-17).  And here are warnings for the offended.  Sin and lack of forgiveness can lead to hate.  Sin and lack of forgiveness can lead to revengeful attitudes.

If the offender would receive forgiveness, he should GO to the offended.  For our families to be whole, we must teach and command forgiveness. (Ep.6:4; Ge.18:19).  What we don’t teach while we are alive, they will not be trained to do when we are gone!

If we really desire forgiveness, we should go and ask.  If we really want forgiveness, we should confess our evil.  The children had seen Israel, the servant of God go, confess, pray for and practice forgiveness with his brother Esau. (Ge.32).  While tempted to be hardened in heart, God’s child must weep and pray over his enemy’s sin. (Mt.18:12; 5:43-48; Ga.6:1,2; Ep.4:31-32).

 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Ge.50:18-20).

 One truly seeing his need of forgiveness will not just ask but fall upon the offended one’s mercy. (Lk.15:18-19; 1Cr.7:10).  Humility and submission are essential to conversion and gaining forgiveness.  Often the offender weeps as badly as the offended.  There is pain with sin.  Consider Peter and Judas. (Mt.26:75; 27:3-5).

The offended needs to comfort the fear of the offender!  Doesn’t God do that for us? (Ez.33:11; 2Tm.4:2).  We know that forgiveness takes place in the mind or heart of God.  We must not judge or think of ourselves to be mightier than God. (Mt.18:21-35).  When forgiveness is not sought and/or not granted, there is great reason to fear. (Ac.8:22,23; 1Jn.1:9; Mt.6:15).

Why do we hang on to the evil done to us? (Ep.4:26).  Often God uses it for our good if we allow it!  Especially this is so if we meet “evil” with the right response! (Mt.18:15; Ja.1:2-4).  Billions may be living adequately fed, but miserable.  The same may be lost.  Maybe the evil and our right response will save many souls – maybe even our families. (Mt.5:16)

Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. (Ge.50:21-22).

Kind words and nourishing treatment are companions of forgiveness.  We must not fool ourselves if we think we have forgiven our mate but take our anger out on “the dog”.

Longevity is better when we learn forgiveness.  And longevity can be a reward to one who learns overcome bitterness and wrath.  Life can be disappointing and cruelly sad at times, but better to end it having practiced God’s direction in Luke 6:37.  Only when forgiveness prevails, can we be assured that our family can grow strong in faith, loyalty and size.

Joseph saved his family in time of famine.  Jacob saved his family in time of difficulty – by teaching forgiveness. (Lk.10:37b).  Our families will be saved long after our decease if we instill in them God’s plan and prescription for peace and forgiveness.  How many problems might be avoided? Unhappiness, bitterness, alcohol and drug abuse, runaways, and separations often are rooted in a lack of forgiveness.

Congregations surely need to practice forgiveness!  Some are physically divided and spiritually paralyzed for lack of it!  God and His church are all about forgiveness!  All nations and all “races” need it!  Every soul needs it and to practice it!  It’s been rightly said, “Forgiveness is not God’s problem.  It is ours!”  Please study Psalm 103.

Did you know that having been betrayed by family, but comforted with a family in Egypt, Joseph chose to name his firstborn, “Manasseh” meaning “one who causes to be forgotten“? (Ge.41:51).  Life is full of comfort, if we will only focus on it.  If I refuse to forgive or cannot forgive, could my problem be hate?  A person is precious, worthy and valuable as he is, not as he acts.  Do I have a forgiving spirit, like God?

Some are heard to say, “How can I forgive one when he has not repented?”  A more important and better question is “Will you be able to forgive one if he does repent?”.  Ultimately forgiveness rakes place in the heart of God, but He expects each of us to be peacemakers and those who would cultivate forgiveness. (Mt.5:7-9; Ga.6:1,2).      HJS


What Does God Say About Baptism?

  • Fulfills righteousness. Matthew 3:15
  • Saves us. Mark 16:15,16; 1 Peter 3:21
  • Answer of a good conscience toward God. 1 Peter 3:21
  • For remission of sins. Acts 2:38
  • Washes away sin. Acts 22:16
  • How all become children of God. Galatians 3:26,27
  • By faith puts into Christ. Galatians 3:26,27
  • Entry point into Christ’s body, the church. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22,23; Ac.2:40,41,47

With all the good things that God says in the Bible about baptism above, why do so many religious teachers denigrate it as a “work of men” and deny it’s necessity?  Consider the Lord’s response to Peter in this regard in Mark 8:31-33.

Concerning the baptism John taught and administered (Mark 1:4), Jesus asked, The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me (Mark 11:28-32).  And we ask concerning baptism as taught by Christ and His apostles, “Is it from heaven or men?”  Being from heaven, all men need to submit it to be saved (Mark:16:15-16).    HJS


“So Beautiful!”

  • A child nurtured to love and imitate the Lord. Ep.6:4; 1Sm.1:11,20; 2:18-21,26
  • Two people so devoted to God, that they work through problems, achieve greater love and stay devoted to each other until death! Ge.2:18,23; Mt.19:5,6; Ep.5:21-33
  • Families that rise up early, lay aside trials common to all, and unite together with others as a spiritual house to sing and worship in praise of our Father each week. Ps.122:1; Ac.20:1-8; 1Jn.1-4; He.13:14,15
  • Devoted souls never forgetting to be present and partake of the emblems of the death of the Savior who gave all for them. 1Cr.11:23-26
  • A man spending his days studying the Scripture, honing his heart to be like God’s, appealing to family and friends to share the great treasure of the Christian’s life and hope, and then one day peacefully departing to the “far better”. Ph.1:6,23; Ps.116:15; Re.14:13
  • A prodigal’s father waiting for his son’s return, running to him, rejoicing and restoring his child to his table and house. Lk.15:11-24
  • That God would give up heaven and His life for us, forgive our sins, adopt us as His children, dwell with us, share His glory and would be our God. 1Tm.3:16; 1Jn.3:1,2; Re.21:3
  • That we can sing over and over again, “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!” and “Isn’t it grand being a Christian!  Isn’t it grand!”  So beautiful!       HJS

What The Prodigal Son Brought Home

Recall the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32?

What could he bring back to his father’s house?  When he left he took a generous portion of his father’s living with him, but had wasted it in riotous living.  It was all gone!  If he brought any food home, it would have been no more than a husk or two in his pocket or satchel, rescued from the hogs. The boy came back home without shoes on his feet!

But what did the prodigal son bring home to his father’s house?

He brought back a confession of his wrongs and a plea for heaven and his father’s forgiveness.

Now tucked in his heart were humility and penitence.  Selfishness had been replaced by respect, appreciation of the care at home and willingness to labor in service for father and family as they might need.

He brought the very best answer to a father’s prayers!  Without doubt, that swelled the father’s words of praise and thanksgiving for God’s gracious care and providence.

The prodigal came home with the comfort that the father’s arms had been longing for so long a time. “His father saw…ran, and fell on his neck…”

Yes!  Into his father’s house he brought merriment.  The father called out to his servants, “Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found!”

He brought back a sense of wholesome completeness to that home with his return.  The anguish, sadness and fear of his farther was replaced with relief and joy!

It gave exemplary proof to others that forgiveness and love reigned in the father’s home.

The reconciliation the prodigal brought home showed others the way home.  To have one son found and alive again, gave reality to hope for all in the father’s household.

Oh prodigal, do you know what you could bring with you?  Do you see the joy you can bring to the Father, your family and all the souls in His house and you, if you return?!  Please come home.     HJS