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  • Allen Domelle

I Am Not God

Genesis 50:19

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

After Jacob died, Joseph’s brethren were concerned that he would take revenge on them for what they did to him when he was younger. They never thought the day that they sold him into slavery that their lives would literally be under his power to do with them what he wanted.

Joseph’s brethren came and asked for forgiveness. They said their father asked him to forgive them. The Scriptures do not show if Jacob said this, but thought Joseph was as evil as they were, and that he would use this opportunity to hurt them. Joseph was grieved by their thoughts. When they asked for forgiveness, Joseph made a statement that shows the true heart of forgiveness. He asked, am I in the place of God? Joseph was saying that not to forgive is to dethrone God from your life to take situations into your own hands to rectify what you think is wrong.

We cannot control what people do to us, but we can control whether we forgive those who have wronged us. Not to forgive is to attempt to push God off His throne and for us to attempt to replace God on His throne. Let me remind you, it never goes well for the one who tries to dethrone God. Lucifer tried to dethrone God, and look at what happened to him. It never goes well for the person who tries to take God’s place to get revenge on people. Let me share several thoughts about forgiveness.

First, forgiveness is commanded by God. I heard a preacher comment in one of the most horrible sermons I have ever heard on forgiveness that we are not God; therefore, we can’t forgive like God. We may not be God, but God still expects and commands us to forgive. It does not matter how great the grievance was; God commands you to forgive.

Second, not to forgive is not to accept God’s providence in your life. Never think for one second that God mistakenly allowed the hurt to happen. God’s will is not always for our benefit, but for the benefit of eternity. Though God does not tell us to sin, He easily could have shielded us from the hurt that sin caused, but He did not for eternity’s sake. God has a purpose for what He allows in your life, and you must trust God that He is working something out for good. Certainly, it is not always easy to see what God is doing, but if you are patient and trust God, you will one day see His providential hand and purpose for allowing you to endure the hurt that others have caused.

Third, forgiveness never means that you trust someone, but that you are giving them a clean slate from that moment to rebuild trust. Forgiveness is moving on from the hurt to let God do God business in your life and with the situations He allowed in your life. When God forgives, He moves on from the past, and He expects His children to move on from the past and give the one who did the wrong an opportunity to rebuild that trust.

Fourth, it matters now how often someone hurts you; you are to continually forgive. God said if a person hurts us seven times in a day, we are to forgive them each time. In other words, having an attitude of forgiveness means I will always believe that someone will do better the next time. This attitude takes God’s help, but it can be done if you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit.


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