(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Coming Back to Reaquaint
By Zelda Dominguez
When my grandmother died, my family had discrepancies; hurt each other, stopped gathering, and everyone eventually lost contact. Years later when I was in my 20s’ I worked very close to where my aunt lived, and I decided to go see my cousin. I really desired a relationship with him. I hadn’t seen him in years and we began to spend time together, getting reacquainted, discussing the stories of our families, and restoration began. We grew closer, and still are to this day
Throughout the entire narrative of the patriarchs, beginning with Abraham in Genesis 12, the family from whom would come the Messiah was never in complete harmony with one another.
Part of that family in the bible who had disunity is the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. He was a young shepherd favored by his father Jacob. His brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They devised a plan to kill him and ended up selling him like a slave for 20 pieces of silver. They dipped his garments in goat’s blood and told their father he was killed by a wild beast. As you can imagine he was devastated and mourned him.
Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egypt, sold, and became steward to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials. Where he was falsely accused and imprisoned. Eventually, he was released and elevated to a position next and highly favored to Pharaoh. We are told in Genesis 41:46 that Joseph was 30 years old when he began to serve in Pharaoh’s court. Twenty years had passed since Josephs’s brothers sold him and they then reappear.
There was a famine, which led the family to come to Egypt to buy grains. The same brothers that had done Joseph harm were now before him. Joseph recognized them and was drawn to tears. Deliberately concealing his identity he tests their character. Eventually, he cannot hide it anymore and reveals to them he is their brother. Joseph recognizes that God had a purpose for his suffering and chooses forgiveness rather than revenge. In the end, he confesses that, although others meant evil against him, God meant it unto good (Gen. 50:20). Joseph explains they need not feel guilty for betraying him as it was God’s plan for him to be in Egypt to preserve his family.
The family is once again reunited after Joseph tells them to bring his father and their entire household. There would still be five more years of famine left. What a reunion of reacquaintance and restoration that was. Joseph through the Lord supplied them with all their needs.
I can’t help but think about asking ourselves have we been deeply hurt by someone and would you choose to forgive as Joseph did.? Or have you been on the side of the sibling’s actions? Are you parents who favor a child over others provoking them to wrath? Are you that child whose parents hurt them? Are you the wife who’s betrayed their husband? Or have you been falsely accused? There are many roles here a family can identify with. Which one can you relate to?
To be able to admit you’re wrong and repent, or forgive someone. Had Joseph not continued to worship and love the Lord he would not have been able to. His obedience to God and his strong relationship with him kept him from wavering. And he was an example to others of God’s character
God has always desired to have a relationship with us. Throughout the Bible, it tells us time and time again about the falling away of His people. Yet God in his mercy is ready to forgive if we come back.
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”
– Psalm 86:5
God’s mercy is greater than your sin. His love is greater than your sin. His forgiveness is greater than your sin. No matter what you’ve done or how long it’s been. Perhaps you may think it too late or the sin too great? Do you have that one secret sin that only you and God know about, and you wonder how God could forgive that? He can! He’s ready to forgive you.
Forgiveness enabled Joseph not to seek revenge or become bitter and angry (Genesis 50:19-21). Forgiveness caused Joseph to become a loving, and caring person. Unforgiveness would only have bound him.
This holiday season reminds to reacquaint yourself with family and move toward reconciliation. Christ was born to die for you, and I. Reacquaint yourself with him.