Fortunate to Forget: The Paradigm of Joseph

And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house (Genesis 41:51 KJV). 

We are all familiar with the story of Joseph, the son of Israel. He was sold to the Ishmaelites as a slave by his brothers, and the Ishmaelites/Midianites (Ishmaelites and Midianites were confederate of one another and traveled together) sold him to Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh. The Ishmaelites and the Midianites were descendants of Abraham. God was with Joseph in spite of him being sold into slavery by his brothers. Potiphar made Joseph overseer over his house and over all he possessed. God blessed all of Potiphar’s possessions in his house and in the field because of Joseph.

As time went on, Joseph was falsely accused by the wife of Potiphar and was wrongfully imprisoned for something he had not done because Joseph refused to have sexual relations with Potiphar’s wife when she came on to him to commit adultery with him. He remained faithful to God and refused to have any sexual relations with Potiphar’s wife each time she approached him from day-to-day. She cause Joseph to be wrongfully imprisoned after running out on her when she grabbed his garment and said, “Lie with me”. He fled and left his garment behind with her. She took the opportunity to tell her husband and bear false witness that he tried to have sexual relations with her and that she cried out and he fled.

As he continued to walk in the righteousness of God, God exalted him out of prison and he became the governor of Egypt after God gave Pharaoh the interpretation of his dream through Joseph. God gave Joseph wisdom to advise Pharaoh in preparation for the seven-year famine. Pharaoh made Joseph governor over Egypt and gave him a wife and he begot two sons. Joseph named his two sons according to what God has done for him. His youngest son was named Ephraim, which means fruitful because God has cause him to prosper and be fruitful. His eldest son was named Manasseh, which means to forget because God has cause him to forget all of his toil and all the things he suffered by the hands of his brothers in his father’s house.

As believers of Jesus Christ, we will experience the same forgetfulness if we continue to be faithful to God and walk in His righteousness even as Joseph did. Not only did Joseph forget all of his toil, but he also forgave, saved, and blessed his father’s house during the time of famine when they needed him. Because of what God has done for us spiritually and naturally we are able to forgive and forget. God has forgiven us, so we should forgive others. “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19 KJV).

This scripture from Micah 7:19 reflects God’s character of how He will have compassion on us, subdue our iniquities (meaning to suppress our sins or not hold it against us or cause it not to be remembered), and cast all of our sins in the depths of the sea if we turn to Him and walk with Him. The statement of thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of sea is a representation of God’s character to deliberately forget our sins. If we continue to yield to God, He will turn to us and forget our sins which is in His character to deliberately do by His own will. He expects us to have the same character for one another, to make ourselves to forgive and forget because it is the will of God. Forgetting and forgiving is a choice because Jesus said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV). 

God has enabled and blessed us to forgive and forget to be a blessing to others, even to our enemies. We must yield to His Spirit as we walk with Him. Our Hope is eternal. As we continue to yield to our eternal Hope (Jesus Christ), we will not only save ourselves, but have an opportunity to save and win others through our godly character.

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