In the story of Joseph you read how the jealousy of his brothers caused him to go into slavery. [Gen 37:23, 28 KJV] The bible says there’s no new thing under the sun and that the Old Testament is given for our example. If you have ever had family betray you, you have an idea of what this must have been like. Seventeen years old and your whole life ahead of you. Your dreams of becoming this or that. You get up one day and per your fathers command set out for a life changing, dream crashing, devastating and betraying experience with your own family. Family, you know the ones that are supposed to be “blood is thicker than water” companions by your side.
Each and every moment had hope, fears and imagination running wild in it. If you haven’t received a life changing phone call, been through a life changing event, then right you might not understand what he was going through. But I’ve received that more than once and during those moments, your mind is racing. He is now a slave. From the owner to the slave in one day. He could really be beaten to death for disobedience. The mercy of God was to put him in Potiphar’s house. It wasn’t to deliver him from slavery. In Potiphar’s house he became favored. [Gen 39:1, 6, 21 KJV]
Here’s where I want to really begin. Joseph wasn’t some super human perfect man. He was like you and I. How could he not be sitting there imagining his father hearing that he was gone and not coming to look for him? He had dreams of his brothers bowing to him. His father loved him and gave him the very coat his brothers took off him that day. His father lived for God and God talked to him. He knows its death or beating if he tries to run away. Canaan is not a short distance to travel, if he even knew the way. Really what else is he to do but serve? He believed there is a God of Israel. He believed and loved the stories he had heard all his life. He wanted the blessing he was told about. So he did what we would do, serve his master until his deliverance would come.
I work at my job. Some days it’s easy, other days it’s hard. I have good moments and bad moments. I haven’t found a better job yet. There were days I wanted to walk off, days I said things I shouldn’t have. I’ve been there twenty five years now and I’m still looking for a new job. Sure I could’ve walked off, quit and lost everything. Everything meaning my favor with God. God has through all my faults and mistakes, given me favor with the owner and my boss. I am not some super human Christian that never did or said anything wrong and yet God has been with me and I have favor. I have to believe it was the same for Joseph because there’s no new thing under the sun.
I can imagine Joseph making himself comfortable in his servant-hood. His boss made him the chief of all things. Maybe life wasn’t that bad after all. Sure his father never searched for him and his brothers “got away with” selling him. Oh year after year I can see the disappointment of each new voice, new person, new gossip and yet no sign of his family regretting what they did or his loving father searching for him. His dreams were now something he pushed aside yet he still knew God was with him. Those little God winks as we call them today. Telltale signs that let you know He does exist and for some reason is allowing this. You don’t understand but you submit anyway. He is God and maybe what you are going through will show itself one day. Maybe there’s something coming you don’t see or know about that He is doing, cause you see Him. You feel Him and you know He’s there; and all the other things we tell ourselves today to help us cope with disappointment and life changing events.
How can I say “all this?” Really think about how you respond to things today. You’re the same human being he was. You don’t know the whole story either. But you can do like he did and live for God no matter what comes your way. Not with a human perfection our mind likes to trip us into believing in order to change the situation. If I were better, didn’t speak this or do that. Well yes, you are learning, but I can’t see Joseph as perfect in everything or else he would have been without sin. I only know of one who was without sin and that is God.
The bible is clear that Joseph had forgotten his dreams (Gen 42:9) and was living daily in hopes of freedom in his requests to the butler. [Gen 40:14-15 KJV But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.] This is eleven years after that day.
Another hope and another disappointment. The butler was restored, the baker was hanged and Joseph was forgotten. I myself have made the best of things and have had some great times, memories and was used of God during this time of vanished dreams. I can relate on so many levels, except the ones that speak of Joseph as if he were super human. As if he didn’t make a mistake at all or else he wouldn’t have been used of God. No, Joseph loved the God of Israel, his God. But he was in all points tempted and with sin. The things the bible points out is the times where it showed he chose not to willingly sin but to live for God during temptation. I have those moments too and the others God doesn’t bring up unless it helps me and others to overcome. He puts it under the blood with repentance.
Two years later and now thirteen years after being sold into slavery, Joseph meets Pharaoh. (Gen 41) During those thirteen years he learned how to manage and increase goods. He learned how to speak the Egyptian language fluently. I can also say, since I am learning this, he learned how to control his emotions and believe that God is working when you don’t see Him working. When he went throughout all the land, he could’ve understood at that time the dreams given to baker and butler. He could name it as a God working in his benefit. It might have taken a few days to put everything together, after all it was another one of those life altering experiences; from prison to a palace in one day.
[Gen 42:9, 18 KJV And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye [are] spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. ... 18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:]
Joseph had ups and downs, but maintained his belief that God was God. Knowing that I can see at times God working in my life would lead me to believe that after the dreams, he did too. He grew in wisdom and had convictions. This is the key element in your life. Those convictions have kept me out of a mess and in favor with God.
[Gen 50:19-21 KJV And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.]
At the end of this story it’s easy to miss a few more things. It was jealousy that his brothers needed to repent of. In order to repent they had to come to the place of acknowledging God saw it and they didn’t get away with it. They too had to confront it. Joseph had to go through thirteen years period. It didn’t matter how much he prayed, how faithful he was, how “perfect” his walk with God was or anything else people like to throw are you proclaiming all the reasons you haven’t been delivered or are in the situation you’re in. He had to be there for yes, himself, but because of his brothers. It’s proven with Benjamin and no jealousy when given a double portion and Judah willing to offer his life for him. What a change that took thirteen years to produce.
When you’re going through your life changing, dream shattering events and no deliverance seems to be coming your way; remember that Joseph didn’t know the end of the story all those years either. Pray that God will give you want you need to change as He sees fit and that if someone else is the cause of your “event,” that you’ll have forgiveness and wisdom to deal with it / them when the time comes. It will come. Hopefully you are not the cause of someone else’s event. But if so, repent. Judah repented and was converted. You know that God accepted him because He came through Judah and is known as the Loin of Judah. Be all you can be and know that no one did anything in the bible that you yourself cannot do, both good and bad. Flesh is flesh and God is good!!!!
Submitted by: Tina Marie