Now therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord in place of the boy; and let the boy go back with his brothers. For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the suffering that would come upon my father. (Genesis 44:33-34)
The scene is vivid in our scripture. Not yet revealed to his brothers, Joseph hears the painful irony of Judah’s plea. His brother begs for this young brother in a way he didn’t for Joseph himself before. We can only imagine the pain Joseph must have felt at hearing both Judah’s concern for a brother and concern for his father’s feelings. Again, neither of which he showed before.
And yet, we can change. Our past does not have to define us. Each person is presented with an opportunity. Judah – a chance to act differently with a brother this time, to act decisively in a faithful and just way. And, to treat his father with the respect he denied him before. Joseph – the chance to forgive, show grace, take care of the ones who abandoned him, and be reunited with his father. Each of us have this same opportunity this and every season of life.
Lord, when there are chances for reconciliation, give us the grace and courage to take them, and experience the liberation that comes. May this be a prayer for ourselves and the world. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tommy Williams — follower of Jesus