Joseph Wept

Joseph Wept

20 January 2009


16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Forgive your brothers for the great evil they did to you.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive us.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. (Genesis 50:16-17 NLT)


Joseph’s brothers never really got it. They judged Joseph’s heart by their own hearts and just couldn’t understand that he actually forgave them and bore them no ill will. They didn’t understand that Joseph so trusted God and had allowed God’s maturing, purifying process to work so deeply in him that he really did believe God was the one who brought him to Egypt to save their lives and that the thirteen years of bondage was really worth it.


Joseph wept. Partly because they asked for the forgiveness he had already granted long ago. Partly because he once again saw the dream God had given him as a seventeen-year old fulfilled. Partly because they really didn’t understand his heart. Partly because they were at it again, scheming and lying to save their skins.

Joseph wept. But he didn’t let the emotions he felt or the behavior of his brothers or the memory of the years of bondage or the fact that they really didn’t know his heart – he didn’t let any of that cause him to compromise his character or his convictions or his compassion.


Father, I so admire Joseph. All my life as I read and re-read his story and think about him and learn from him, my respect for him keeps growing. I admit that I’m a little intimidated by him, but I still want to be like Joseph when I grow up.

Back to Articles...