Genesis 41:38 “And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”
The life of Joseph is an interesting study.
Son to Jacob and Rachel, Joseph was a long-awaited child. Jacob served Laban seven years, thinking he was to wed Rachel, only to find that he had given Leah, the eldest daughter instead. He served another seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage.
There was a wifely competition between the sisters over the affection and procreation with Jacob. Leah had many sons before God allowed Rachel to conceive Joseph. As the boy grew, Jacob favored him above all the others giving him many gifts and favor that drove a wedge between Joseph and his brothers.
Their hatred for Joseph rose to a place where they wanted to kill him. Instead, they sold him into slavery. It was the beginning of a journey God was going to use on a far greater scale than any could imagine.
In Joseph’s early years, the favoritism of his father, Jacob, caused a division within his own family. In his naïveté, Joseph shared his dream with his brethren. God had gifted him to interpret dreams, and his siblings only hated him for it.
They only saw fault when they should have acknowledged the gift and hand of God.
Genesis 37:11 “And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.”
Envy of another’s gift, favor, or position can quickly become hateful. When anger arises, the seeds of bitterness become sown in our hearts. The brothers took action as the hatred had reached such a level that they desired to eradicate Joseph from their presence. The fruit of their bitterness was to take the life of their brother.
What the brothers, Joseph, or even Jacob did not know was that God had a marvelous plan to use this unfortunate course of events for the saving of two nations and preserving Israel.
Often, we are unable to see what will become of what God plants in our life. Many people will ask, “How can God use this tragedy for good?”
It isn’t until we are on the other side of the tragedy that we see more clearly how God will use it for His glory. We lament the situation and circumstances in our lives and forget the Sovereignty of our God. He gives us:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We feel as if we are to accept what comes not knowing the purpose blindly. God follows this truth with an explanation.
Romans 8:29-30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
I can accept whatever comes knowing that He does so to make me more like Jesus. Often, we do not like the recipe, but we want to skip to the final product. Many of the ingredients for hot biscuits, by themselves, do not taste very good. But, mixing them all and applying heat will bring about a savory treat.
Our life may have seeds God plants to bring fruit we may not see readily. He may allow some seemingly horrible events to happen. Abuse, loss, and even pain may come, and we wonder, “Where was God?” We must trust His word.
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
For some of us, the pressing of the seed into the soil of our heart is a painful process. Again, we must fully trust that God knows what He is doing. It may not be for us to understand this side of Heaven for what purpose He has given us this trial or allowed such pain and heartache to come.
I can know that if I am in submission to him, and yielded to the Holy Spirit, that He will lead and guide me in paths He has before explicitly ordained for my life.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Joseph did not balk or complain about the many situations and circumstances he faced. He didn’t rebuke the butler for forgetting him. He didn’t even reign vengeance on his brothers also though he was in a position to do so. He had a perspective that only a few possess.
Genesis 50:20 “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.”
Joseph could have allowed the seeds God planted to become bitter had he rejected God’s plan for his life. We cannot control the events around us though we try mightily. The only thing under our control is our heart. How we view things and the perspective with which we see is vital.
Joseph was given a gift that allowed him to be significantly used. But that would have never happened had he been selfish, prideful, or wanting glory for himself. He saw God as Sovereign not only over the world but over his life as well.
Those seeds planted in Joseph’s life became abundantly fruitful because he allowed God free reign over all that he did. When tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, he responded with integrity.
Genesis 39:8-9 “But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
Joseph upheld the purity of his relationship with God, above all. Would to God we would take his example!