“Now then, please let your servant remain here as the lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.” Genesis 44:33
Listen: Genesis 44
Joseph tested his brothers when they came to Egypt—and rightly so. They had sold him into slavery because of their jealousy. However, Joseph’s testing was good-hearted. He desired to be restored to his brothers but wanted to be sure their hearts had changed since those terrible days when they first abused him. Joseph could’ve reacted instinctively to the wounds he’d received, but instead he decided to wait.
Judah was Joseph’s older brother and the one who came up with the scheme to sell Joseph for twenty pieces of silver (Genesis 37:26-28). And it’s Judah that proves to Joseph they’ve had a change of heart. When Joseph tested them by threatening to keep Jacob’s favored son Benjamin, Judah offered his own life instead. Judah had changed from being a life-taker to a life-saver.
Many of us have people in our lives who have wounded us. It’s possible we’ve written them off and simply decided, “They’ll never change.” While we need to maintain healthy boundaries, nobody is outside God’s grace. The Apostle Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that they were deeply immoral before God intervened and changed their hearts (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Since we have tasted such great kindness from God, we too can extend kindness and hope to those who have not yet changed.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take a moment to consider who, in your life, you’ve already decided will never change. Then pray and ask God to soften your heart towards this person. This doesn’t mean removing healthy boundaries, but begin asking God to change that person’s heart, believing he can do so.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.