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.  —Genesis 50:15-21

       Guilt eats away at a person. Confession clears it away. Joseph’s brothers carried this guilt with them for 22 years after they sold Joseph into slavery. This guilt is seen to be on the forefront of their minds—

“They said to one another, ‘Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.’   Reuben replied, ‘Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.’ They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter” (Genesis 42:22).

            Even after they were now in Egypt for 17 years, up to the time of Jacobs’s death, they were still carrying this guilt. 39 years of carrying this guilt. Surely, they thought and talked amongst each other, Joseph will now get his revenge. But Joseph would not take revenge. Instead he would take care of them. Joseph did tell them that they did do evil to him, but he also understood God worked through the situation to put him in place to save his whole extended family from death. So he told them not to fear. Forgiven!   Now they knew Joseph had forgiven them and this guilt they carried for 39 years was finally gone!

            Are you carrying guilt? First bring it to our Lord and confess whatever it is to Him.   He knows already. He desires you to confess it to Him and He will forgive.   Then, are you carrying around this guilt because there is someone you need to go to and confess what you have done?   Well, then do so. Joseph’s brothers got up the courage and humbled themselves to go to Joseph to ask for forgiveness. Do the same and be released from the prison of guilt!

Dear Father bring to mind any guilt I have that I would confess it to You and if there is anyone I need to go to, may I do so. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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