Genesis 50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Most Evangelicals know the story of Joseph. Envied by his brothers, he was stripped, cast into an empty well (that had to hurt) and sold into slavery. Joseph’s brothers were directly guilty of the crime of man-stealing and per the later civil law should have received the death penalty for the actions.
Joseph later, as the story goes lived a up and down life. He experienced both the worst and the best until he was made 2nd to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt.
The point I want to draw out here is the attitude of Joseph once he had the opportunity to even the score with his brothers who had made of him a slave for profit. Instead of getting his pound of flesh Joseph responded to his brothers fear of retribution with a testimony of God’s sovereignty and providence. He recognized that the brothers motives in the evil they did him by enslaving him but he also recognized the greater motive behind the lesser motives of his brothers. They intended it for evil but God intended it for good.
This attitude — this Christian attitude, is a far cry from what we get today from many Evangelical Blacks who demand their pound of flesh from those, who, unlike Joseph’s brothers, were not even directly involved in selling anybody into slavery or directly involved in purchasing any slaves. Further, though it may indeed have been said somewhere, I have nowhere heard any Evangelical Black Lives Matter type talk about God’s greater providence like the former slave Joseph spoke whereupon they recognize the penultimate evil while paying a greater tribute to the ultimate providence in his slavery which was “intended for good.”
Keep in mind that the ex-slave Joseph was talking to those who directly sold him into slavery and still there was the voice of confidence of God’s providence. What we are dealing with here is the generations removed descendants of slaves raising voice against the generations removed descendants not of those who actually sold their ancestors into slavery but of those reputed to have actually purchased their ancestors and in these raised voices there is little talk of gratitude to God for His providence in their ancestors’ slavery.
There is nary a voice raised against the ones who actually did sell their forefathers into slavery.
“The Slave trade is the ruling principle of my people. It is the source and glory of all their wealth. The Mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph of an enemy reduced to slavery.”
Black African King — King Gezo of Dahomey
Upon hearing of the United Kingdom’s ending of the Slave trade The King of Bonny (now in Nigeria) was horrified at the conclusion of the practice and said,
” We think this trade must go on. That is the verdict of our oracle and the priests. They say that your country, however great, can never stop a trade ordained by God himself.”