Read Genesis 50:15-21
15 After burying his father,Joseph went back to Egypt. All his brothers who had come with him to bury his father returned with him. After the funeral,Joseph’s brothers talked among themselves: “What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back for all the wrong we did him?”
16-17 So they sent Joseph a message,”Before his death,your father gave this command: Tell Joseph,’Forgive your brothers’ sin-all that wrongdoing. They did treat you very badly.’ Will you do it? Will you forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God?”
When Joseph received their message,he wept.
18 Then the brothers went in person to him,threw themselves on the ground before him and said,”We’ll be your slaves.”
19-21 Joseph replied,”Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see,you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good,as you see all around you right now-life for many people. Easy now,you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them,speaking with them heart-to-heart. (THE MESSAGE)
Our bodies have wonderfully God-given means of healing themselves. When we cut ourselves,eventually a scab forms and the wound is thus protected against infection. We are left with a scar,at least for a while. The scar indicates that the wound has healed. Picking at the scab or the scar doesn’t help the healing process.
The scar reminds us we have been wounded but we do best to leave it alone.
Which is what Joseph did in this episode with his brothers. They feared he would take revenge on them for what they did in selling him into slavery. Joseph had every right to be angry with them even though God had overruled to turn bad into good. And yet Joseph refused to do so.
He acknowledged their wrongdoing but refrained from dwelling on it. He bore the scars of their betrayal in his long alienation from his own family and country. But he had no desire to reopen the wounds,to pick at the scar.
He chose to focus on the fact that the wound had healed rather than focus on the initial wounding. A reminder to us who have certain memories of certain hurts inflicted on us not to pick at them. Let God heal them. We may be left with scarring,but the scars are a sign of healing. When God has healed the wounds,let no individual reopen them.