God is an unrelenting forgiver.


You'll have to forgive me. That wasn't the full title. The full title is: God is a no-questions-asked, no-holds-barred, unconditional, unrelenting Forgiver.

Didn't you see that in this chapter?! What a vulnerable and moving picture of God through Joseph! "When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, 'What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?' So they sent word to Joseph, saying, 'Your father left these instructions before he died: "This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly." Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.' When their message came to him, Joseph wept." (vs 15-17)

Photo © Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

Photo © Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

Joseph’s brothers still didn’t get it! After all that time in Egypt, they still thought Joseph was being nice to them just because their father was alive. They thought he was "playing nice," pretending, biding his time until Jacob died and he could really get down to the business of revenge.

It’s incredible to see just what they thought of Joseph... imagining that he would be unforgiving, unkind, holding a grudge after all this time. Perhaps they were seeing in Joseph what was in their own hearts. Perhaps this is why God says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Perhaps it is because we see in others what is really in ourselves, and in "judging" them, we expose our own hearts.

Joseph’s reaction is very moving to me. He wept. I imagine he must have thought, After all this time... this is what you think of me? Do you know me at all?

Photo © Unsplash/Cristian Newman

Photo © Unsplash/Cristian Newman

Does that sound like something God might be able to say to us? If we could pull our perceptions about God "out of our heads" and examine them, would we find it incredible to see just what we think of Him? Do we expect Him to be harboring up grudges for Judgment Day? Do we secretly cower, wondering when the "time of mercy" will be over and the retribution will start?

If that is what we think of Him, God has one response. He weeps. And He longs to reassure us, as Joseph reassured his brothers, that He has forgiven us long ago, that He loves us deeply and has done all He can to bless us.

He is a Forgiver.

He is a Lover.

That. Never. Changes.