Have been reading Joseph.
He was the unpopular younger brother. The best looking in the family. His father’s favorite. The dreamer of dreams in which he was the recipient of family homage. His ten brothers were eaten with jealousy. They had nothing good to say to him.
They threw him in a pit to die. Then they sold him to be a slave.
He was taken to Egypt, the metropolis of the world at the time.
And a heathen place to live.
And Joseph was only seventeen.
He was made a slave of the influential Potipher. He was so good and capable, that he was made second in command.
He was all alone in the worship of his God.
He faced the greatest of all temptations for a young man and said NO.
The woman went after him day after day.
And still he said NO.
Potipher’s wife raged at her unsuccess. She made Joseph pay for his refusal.
He could have saved his reputation, but instead he saved his character.
He was thrown in prison. While in prison he stayed busy serving the prisoners.
He interpreted correctly the dream of a prisoner who then went to live a life of prosperity while he stayed trapped down in prison.
Instead of sitting down and asking “why?” he stays busy with what needs to be done.
In the palace, Pharoah dreams two dreams that trouble him. Suddenly the baker remembers, “Oh yeah, remember that one guy who interpreted my dream?” He informs the Pharoah, who promptly sends for Joseph.
Joseph is down in the dungeon, taking care of the prisoners, making himself useful, never dreaming that up above, God is playing out his miraculous plan.
The prison doors creak open. The heavy tread of the guards echo along the dark tunnels. The Pharoah wants Joseph.
And Joseph is ready for destiny.
Before the Pharoah ever tells him his dreams, Joseph lets him know who is really in charge here. His God.
Joseph interprets the dreams, but he doesn’t just stop there. He also has a plan full of good, common sense on how the Pharoah should take care of the horrible famine that is looming ahead.
The Pharoah puts him in charge. Wow! Wherever this guy is, he always seems to be put in charge!
Joseph sets about executing his mastermind of a plan. There’s a wedding as well. The Pharoah suggests that he marry the chief priest’s daughter. Before the famine begins the two are the proud parents of two boys. I’m pretty sure this guy made a pretty good husband!
The famine spreads. Everywhere there is hunger. Except Egypt, a land bursting with plenty, saved under the careful, protecting hand of Zaphnath-paaneah, alias Joseph.
The famine reaches every corner of the world. One day, ten men-guant, skinny from hunger, tired, dusty, weary from traveling- enter the city gates and stand in line to beg food from the great second-in-command of the Pharoah.
They crouch down, begging humbly that they could have food for their starving wives and children.
And Joseph looks into the faces of ten men who once sold him to be a slave. His brothers.
At that moment, he was the second most powerful man in the world.
Imagine if you were in Joseph’s shoes. What would you do?
They don’t know him, but he knows them. He wonders what they are like now. So he tests them, to see if they have changed. He handles it in typical Joseph-like fashion.
These are ten very different men from the ten who threw him inside the deep, dark, pit and ignored his cries for help. They respond differently. Long lives have been filled with lessons that they have learned, the hard way.
Joseph tries them until he can handle it no longer.
He announces, “I am Joseph!”
Can you imagine the reaction in that room to that announcement?
They were afraid. They should have been.
Can you imagine their feelings as they approach their father’s tent? Oh what news do they have to tell! News that no sane person would be crazy enough to believe.
News that they had to provide proof for before their father would ever believe them.
Joseph has forgiven them. He will protect them, as he is protecting everyone else. They will be safe with him. They pack up and move to the foreign land of Egypt.
Wherever Joseph is everyone rallies around him like he’s a rock.
Because he is. He is strong, and steady. You can trust him like you can nobody else.
He lives a life that everyone knows is powered by his mighty God.
And it began when he was only seventeen.
I started thinking,
********”How many of us today, could do what Joseph did?”*****************
Just a thought…
P.S. If you can’t read anything else this week, read Genesis 39 through Genesis 41. This is the story of Joseph, from pit to power, who believed with all his heart that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro about the earth, seeking a man whose heart is perfect towards Him.” You will be inspired.