Life can be harsh! Don’t you think? It is filled with circumstances and situations which bring such pain into our lives. We all see life’s harshness.

In Genesis 42, Joseph’s brothers see life’s harshness. The Egyptian ruler unjustly accuses them of being spies, locks them in prison for three days. In verse 24, the bible tells us that the Egyptian ruler “took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.” They saw life’s harshness again. “Before their eyes” is very emphatic in the text.

But, it’s easy to overlook the first part of verse 24. It tells us what the 10 brothers didn’t see. They didn’t see the heart behind the harshness. When Joseph heard his brothers repent of their sin against him to each other, he turned away from them and wept. In spite of all their sin, Joseph still had a soft heart for his brothers.

Behind the pain of each and every harsh circumstance that God allows to come into our lives, there abides a heart of love and mercy.