Messy Apologies

Joseph and brothersLong ago when the brothers kidnapped Joseph and sold him as a slave, they made up a story for their dad that he had been killed by an animal.  Then came that moment some 15 years later when they discovered that their brother was not only alive but he was the top guy in Egypt.  Talk about awkward.  I wonder what they told dad.  It’s not until another 17 years that papa Jacob passes away, and the brothers finally get around to dealing with this old grudge, mostly out of fear of what Joseph might do to them now that their daddy is gone.  I find it interesting that they don’t come personally but resorted to sending messengers claiming that it was papa’s idea all along for Joseph to forgive his brothers.  Not exactly the best apology I’ve ever seen.  Who knows if they were even sincere?  They may have only been apologizing out of fear that Joseph might take revenge.  I guess you could say that it all goes to show that they didn’t know their brother.  Joseph only wept when he heard what the messengers said.  When the brothers actually showed up to talk to Joseph, they fell on their face before Joseph, and he responded, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? (Genesis 50:19) Joseph had seen how God had worked despite all the mess.  He not only forgave them, but promised to take care of their families. Sometimes I wish we could be a lot more like Joseph and forgive even the messy apologies.  Hopefully, it won’t take 32 years to resolve things.