before the year of famine came, two sons were born to joseph. asenath, the daughter of potiphera priest of on, bore them to him. joseph called the name of the firstborn manasseh. “for,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” [genesis 41:50-51]
the truth and blessing of “forgetting”
- joseph had a passionate and reasonable desire to forget his “hardship’s” and his “father’s house”.
- in a jealous rage, his siblings had beaten and thrown him in a pit to die.
- one profiteering brother (judah) convinced the other brothers to sell him as a slave, instead of just killing him.
- taken 6500 miles to egypt, he was sold to the head of pharoh’s elite bodyguard – potiphar.
- while God blessed this slave, his favor is cut short by an evil, lying, sexually charged women – potiphar’s wife.
- slandered by this woman, he is thrown in another “pit” (jail – gen 40:15) and imprisoned for many, many years.
- again, his favor rose, but every favor he did was forgotten by those he blessed.
- he was alone and forgotten by every human … until pharoh freed him for interpreting his crazy dreams.
this was the family and hardship he longed to forget. and by the time his first son, manasseh, was born a few years later, God had helped him forget.
truth, i believe his forgetting was tied to healing that only the “steadfast love” of God can do in the face of such brutal sin. it is obvious, God and his covenant steadfast love had never left joseph. (gen 39:21) it was with him in the first pit to the last pit, to this moment – the birth of his first child.
side note: the birth of a child is a miracle. the birth of your first child is a momentous miracle that changes your life forever. the birth of my first child came after several miscarriages and a lot of pain and grief (“hardship”) for my wife and i. we named him william – not manessah – but for sure this child, a gift of God’s grace and a momentous miracle, helped us forget our hardship. more importantly, my wife and i can testify it was the LORD and his steadfast love who healed our hurt. i don’t think we literally forget our hardship when God heals. i think healing means we stop living in bitterness and we stop being dominated by thoughts of the hardship. new thoughts, God’s thoughts fill our heart and mind because of his healing. i believe this was true for joseph as well. children cannot heal – only the LORD can. and. God used this child in jospeh’s life to bring his healing from his steadfast love.
the lie and curse of forgetting
the enemy wants you to stuff your pain and try and forget it by filling your heart with something, anything you think will cover the pain. i have seen too many couples in hardship believe a baby will help them heal the brokenness of their life and marriage. again, children are a gift from God. however, they were never intended to heal. they cannot heal. only almighty, all-powerful God can heal. a child cannot heal. they make lousy gods.
when pain dominates our life, whether it is caused by our sin, another’s sin, or a combination of both, we will do just about anything to make it go away – to forget it,
the lie of forgetting is that we can just ignore and forget pain if we have something better in our life.
unknowingly, we make that better thing a god believing it will heal – help us forget – our hardship.
the better thing – becomes a curse. Instead of this better thing being what it was intended to be by God – a house, a friendship, a marriage, a child, a job, a ministry position, a hobby, etc. it becomes a god we hope can heal – make us forget.
but it cannot.
It will not.
the only one who can heal and make us truly forget – have a new mind and heart filled with God’s thoughts – is the LORD. today ask him to heal.
maybe it is your child, maybe it is your spouse, maybe it is a friend, maybe it is you … who needs healing.
plead for healing now from the only one who can heal truly heal and allow us to forget. Jesus shed his blood to redeem and restore. to take away our guilt and restore our souls. cry out to your Savior – he hears and he heals.
but he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. [Isaiah 53:5]
~ john ryan