News Articles

Bible Study: God’s sovereignty helps us forgive one another

NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Genesis 45:1-15

Discussion Questions:

  • When have you seen a demonstration of considerable forgiveness lately?
  • What obstacles might keep us from extending forgiveness?
  • How does acknowledging God’s sovereignty help us seek reconciliation with others?

Food for thought:

Every human being who has ever walked on this planet has been wronged by someone. As difficult as it is to be mistreated by others, it is often more difficult to forgive others for what they’ve done to us. We may even think that reconciliation circumvents justice. We can learn from Joseph’s story in Genesis 45. God is directing our lives for His purposes, even when we experience mistreatment by others.

The famine came just as God had said, through Joseph. Genesis 42 describes how his brothers felt the impact of the famine and came to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize him. After several meetings, Joseph reached a point where he had to reveal himself to them.

Unable to keep his composure, Joseph ordered all the Egyptians out of the room. Alone with his brothers, Joseph shared his true identity. He also asked about his father. Despite Joseph’s overwhelming emotions, his brothers were terrified. They realized that the second most powerful man in Egypt was the brother they had sold into slavery. More than two decades after sending Joseph to Egypt, his brothers were at his mercy.

Recognizing their fear, Joseph called them to come closer and identified himself again as “Joseph, your brother” (Genesis 45:4). He told them not to be grieved or angry. God had brought good out of their sins.

Three times in verses 5-8, Joseph emphatically stated that it was God who ultimately sent him to Egypt. He knew how long the famine would last, and he knew how to help his family survive the remaining years of drought. He told his brothers they could settle their people and property in the land of Goshen. He would ensure they had plenty of food, taking care of them and their families.

The reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers was an incredible one. We, too, can learn to allow God to work in and through our relationships. We can rejoice over renewed relationships. We can affirm God’s plans for others’ lives. We can extend forgiveness. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty helps us seek reconciliation with others.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/ExploreTheBible.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources