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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Simplest Lesson in the World

and the most important.

Genesis 50:15-21 (ESV)

When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

At last, Joseph’s brothers confess their sin in full and show true repentance. They’ve come a long way. Joseph’s response is essentially a repeat of what he said before.

And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. – Genesis 45:5 (ESV)

But there’s one new part – the most important part – “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?

Notice that Joseph does not say, “Do not fear, for I forgive you.” He says, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?” He has one last lesson up his sleeve.

Joseph is saying that he doesn’t have the power. The same God who used their evil acts for good, is still in control. Despite his apparently high position, Joseph knows he’s not the real Lord.

The Lord is God. It’s the simplest lesson in the world – and the most important.

Sometimes we get so busy trying to pursue the Lord’s agenda that we don’t take time to just be with Him. So let’s try a different kind of prayer. Forget asking God to do something; just treasure your relationship with Him. Let the Holy Spirit do the talking. Be silent and give thanks in worship.

What a wonder it is that the God of the universe would want to have a personal relationship with us. What a surprise that Jesus would be willing to go to the cross for that relationship.

We’re not only small, we’re in rebellion against Him. He must have something really interesting up His sleeve to want to have anything to do with us.

His awesomeness and His love are beyond our imagination.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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