Sunday, 3rd October 2021
Pastor Robert Morris (Guest Speaker)
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:15-21)
Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave when he was a teenager, and the only way he could have dealt with them kindly was because he already dealt with this issue in his heart. The word ‘forgive’ here is mentioned first time in the Bible, it means to absorbed fully or to release from penalty. So how can we forgive? If we can’t learn to pardon people then we will not fulfill the destiny God’s given to us.
Joseph’s brothers never repented. They said to Joseph we’re your servants, but they never say we’re wrong. Can we forgive someone who lies, manipulates and never repent? If we don’t forgive we put ourselves in the place of God. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18)
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) We should let God take vengeance to bring justice to an unjust situation. God told us not to do that because we can never bring just to a unjust situations. We’ve been made justified by the one truly just but we can never be completely just because we’re not God. We have nothing to prove but we have someone to please. If we re going through it in our minds, no matter what we say, we have not yet forgiven, yet we must know that God is not going though our sins in His mind.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to forgive us in the same way we forgive others. How we forgive others will decide how God will forgive us; the Bible says freely we receive, freely we give; in the same way, we receive forgiveness forgive therefore we should also freely forgive. If we feel that we are paying for our sins are earning forgiveness, then we will make others pay for what they did and make them earn our forgiveness. When something went wrong we thought it’s God getting it back for us. God is never going to get even with us because He already got even with Jesus.
How can we help if someone has difficulty receiving forgiveness? “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12) How far does God remove inequities from us? From east to the west, which is infinity. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13) “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; but they are on the throne with kings, for He has seated them forever, and they are exalted.” (Job 36:7) God cannot look at wickedness but never takes His eyes off the righteous. If we’re righteous God will not His eyes off us.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
We have been forgiven so we also have to forgive. Satan wants to keep us in bondage so we will have bitterness and miss our the destiny God has for our lives. We must forgive, then we will be able to move into the destiny. Is it easy? It’s never easy to forgive. We can easily pick up the things people did wrong but we forget that we also made many mistakes. Only through Jesus Christ we can forgive and because of Jesus we’re forgiven.