Lately, I have felt God nudging me to re-read the story of Joseph. I have heard this story many times as a kid. I know it by heart. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. His brothers were jealous and decided to kill him but had a change of mind and sold him into slavery. In the end, Joseph rescues the very ones that sold him into slavery plus the entire tribe of Israel.
I can’t get this story out of my mind. When I read about Joseph, I think how unfair that was. Why did this happen to Joseph? He was only a boy. Why were his brothers so mean? There is a bigger picture going on here than when I heard the story as a child. I believe that God is trying to draw my attention to some things.
Joseph was sold into slavery when he was a teenager. I’ve always heard that he was boasting about his dream to his brothers but I don’t think that was the issue at all. The story does not say that. It says that Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers. Maybe he was looking for an answer to his dream and was consulting his brothers. He was the youngest and the older brothers should have been a guide for him. Instead of praying and asking God the meaning of the dream, they get angry. They were jealous. They are the ones with the issues, not Joseph. This is a clear story of jealousy. If you remember past stories about Jacob’s family, it seems this is on of a number of running themes in this family. First, Jacob was jealous of Esau and deceived his father into giving to Jacob, Esau’s birthright. Then, all through Jacob’s life, he had to contend with more jealousness. Jacob was in love with Rachael but was tricked by her father and was forced to marry Leah. Rachael was jealous of Leah because she could bear children and Rachael could not. More jealousy. More deceit. Get the picture?
I’m sure that when Joseph was sold into slavery, he was hurt and probably even a little bitter at his brothers. The story doesn’t talk much about Joseph’s attitudes but he must have kept a good one because the Word says a number of times that God gave Joseph favor. He had favor from Potiphar and became his attendant and God blessed all of the households. Then Potiphar had him thrown in jail because of a lie. I’m sure Joseph was thinking what the heck is going on? I just got out of jail and now I’m back again. I’m sure nothing was making sense. Then later, after a couple of years and through a series of circumstances, Joseph gets out of jail and becomes the Governor of Egypt. There was no one higher than Joseph except Pharaoh.
I have a feisty little Chihuahua named JP that is always testing the length of his 6 ft. leash. Even though the leash goes out that far, JP still wants to go further than the leash will extend and will pull on the end of the leash and I have to guide him back to where I want him. I don’t feel like God has me on a leash, but I do believe that God guides me back to the path he has planned for me even though my gypsy blood gets pumping and I want to move. Right now I feel like this is what Jesus is doing and why he keeps the story of Joseph in the forefront of my mind. As a Jesus follower, I believe my life is directed by Him. I believe my life has always been guided by him even when I was lost and confused after my divorce and running away from Him. Even during those running times, I believe that God was directing my path. I believe that what I’ve gone through in my life has prepared me for what is to come. I just have to learn how to be content in whatever state I find myself.