1. It takes years to develop trust.
2. It takes even longer to recreate trust.
3. Mistrust is very hard to overcome.
4. Joseph's brothers did not understand grace and Joseph's heart.
5. Joseph's brothers damaged their ability to discern when they mistreated Joseph and lied to their father.
6. Sin damages us more than we truly understand.
7. Their concerns and fears were not unfounded, but past sins often create fear in our spirit.
8. One scholar said, "The brothers of Joseph worried about justice. They feared righteous retribution. Joseph, with his high status and prestige in Egypt, was certainly capable of bringing this retribution."
9. It seems to me that the brother's story regarding their father's request was made up.
10. Old habits and fears often die slowly.
11. Did Joseph's brothers feel that they did not have the right to ask Joseph for mercy?
12. Joseph's grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward his people to probably unexpected by most readers, but absolutely beautiful.
13. "The brothers backed up their plea for mercy with a genuine display of humility."
14. This text nudges us and expects us to act as Joseph did toward those who have hurt us and disappointed us.
15. I wonder how long it took before Joseph trusted anyone?
16. I wonder how long it took before Joseph felt safe around people?
17. Great people of faith extend grace and mercy toward their offenders.
18. Great people of faith comfort those who have hurt and abused them.
19. Great people of faith trust in God's sovereignty.
20. Great people of faith do not believe they have the responsibility to bring retribution on their enemies.
21. Great people of faith do not see themselves as God or Judge.
22. Great people of faith see themselves in the arms of God despite the severity of their circumstances.
23. Great people of faith seek to know God's heart.
24. Great people of faith yearn to be used by God in His world.
25. Great people of faith demonstrate their love for God and others.