Joseph Forgives Brothers • Devotion #2: 1 John 1:9
Chuck Lindsey | Reach Pastor
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
Have you ever been so thirsty, that all you can think about is a drink of water? Have you ever been so tired, that all you can see is your bed? Maybe you have been so hungry, that everywhere you looked you saw cheeseburgers. A few years back, my wife and I tried dieting through Weight Watchers. I remember being so hungry one day that as I drove down the road, I found myself looking at road kill with longing. Yikes!
What a refreshing thing a drink of water is to a person who is dying of thirst. What a satisfying thing it is to sit down when exhausted. Food tastes so good when you feel like you are starving.
This is what forgiveness is like. It is like a cool drink of water when you are dying of thirst. It is like the finest of meals to a man who is starving. Forgiveness is like trying to hold the weight of the world above your head for as long as possible, and finally being allowed to let go.
This is what it must have felt like for Joseph’s brothers. For years they carried the weight of what they had done to their brother. For years they tried to carry the weight of their guilt, deception, wrongdoing, and shame. No amount of sleep gave them rest from it. No drink or food helped to alleviate the load. Their sin crushed them. Such is the nature of sin.
How refreshing it must have been to confess their sin, to finally admit their wrongdoing. A few months back, my youngest son (at the time of this writing 5 years old) asked to talk to me “alone.” We went into the bedroom, and he broke down sobbing. As I tried to console him, I asked what had happened. It took a few minutes for him to get out the words, “a few weeks ago, I took some candy from the candy drawer, snuck it into my room and ate it all after you put me in bed. I am so sorry daddy!” I told him I forgave him and we both cried. He cried because of the weight of his guilt. I cried because of the beauty of forgiveness.
Put yourself in the brothers’ sandals for a moment. What was it like to finally admit what they had done, to finally put that great weight down? They were exhausted. Come what may, they had finally put it down. How it must have felt for them to hear then Joseph speak in kindness to them, forgiving them for all that they had done and offering them all of the blessings that were his to give. They change from being almost completely crushed under the weight of their sin to the elation of true forgiveness and mercy. What a moment that must have been.
1 John 1:9 demonstrates how simple forgiveness really is. Notice the words, “If we confess our sins.” That is our part, and that is a big “if” is it not? That “if” implies that we see that we have sin. That “if” implies that we see our need to not only confess our sin, but it confesses our need for forgiveness. But do not miss the simplicity of it. “If we will confess our sin,” emphasizes that if we will just admit it. If we will finally just say the same thing about our sins as God says about it (that is what “confess” means) then, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is so simple. If we will see our need, call sin what it is, and admit to God that we are sinners who need to be forgiven and saved, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all of our sin! This will be more refreshing than any drink of water or bite of bread. Jesus said it will be like a “fountain of water” springing up within us always satisfying.
John 7:37-38 (NKJV) says, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”