We all know about Joseph’s story. Joseph was loved by his parents. He was favored by God. But his brothers hated him. They hated him because God had given him gifts they didn’t have. They hated him because he was the baby and their Father had given him a fancy colorful coat.
Even though Joseph was favored by God - his life was not easy. His mother died in childbirth while his baby brother was being born. God had favored him with a gift of having and interpreting dreams. But his visions of the future just separated him from his brothers.
Finally, his brother’s anger against him boiled over. They decided to kill him. But later they changed plan and simply sold Joseph into slavery.
So, Joseph was a slave in a strange land. But God was with Joseph even in slavery. God blessed his work. Everything he did prospered. Soon he rose to be in charge of all the affairs of Pharaoh’s house.
And Joseph remained faithful to God. Once Pharaoh’s wife tried to seduce him, he resisted. She made it look like he had tried to take advantage of her. And Pharaoh had thrown him in jail.
But God was there even in jail. In jail, he won the trust of the jail keeper and soon he was in a position of authority within the jail. While in jail, he met Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. They had some strange dreams and Joseph used his God given ability to interpret them. According to Joseph’s interpretations one was set free and the other was executed.
At the palace, Pharaoh was having some disturbing dreams himself. In these dreams seven fat cows came out of the Nile and then seven thin cows. Then the thin cows ate the fat cows. These dreams so disturbed Pharaoh that he called all his magicians to interpret the dreams. But, they could not interpret it. Then Pharaoh’s cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him.
When Joseph was brought to Pharaoh, Joseph interpreted the dream. God was warning Pharaoh that there would be seven fat years of plenty and seven lean years of famine. So, for the next seven years of plenty Pharaoh should buy grain and then sell it during the years of famine. Pharaoh was so happy and he put Joseph in charge of this project.
It just happened that when the famine hit Egypt. It also hit Canaan where Joseph’s family was living. So, Israel sent his 10 oldest sons, the ones who had sold Joseph into slavery, to Egypt to buy grain. Now they had no way of knowing that Joseph was in charge of the grain they wanted to buy. In fact, when they appeared before him they didn’t recognize him. Joseph played a game of cat and mouse with them for a while.
Finally, when he could stand it no longer he revealed himself to them. What did he say to his long-lost brothers who had sold him into slavery? Did he rebuke them for their crimes against him? He was the Pharaoh’s right-hand man. He could have ordered them tortured.
Instead he threw his arms around their necks and wept for joy at seeing them again. What did he say about his situation? Did he blame his brothers for his slavery and imprisonment? Did he say, “If it weren’t for my brains and good looks I would still be a slave?” No, he said, “Don’t be upset and don’t be angry with yourselves that you sold me here. Actually, God sent me before you to save lives.” (Gen. 45:5)
Joseph had looked back and seen that this was God’s plan to place him in Pharaoh’s court so that his family and many others would be saved in that time of famine. God didn’t sell Joseph into slavery and God didn’t have Joseph thrown in jail.
Those were the acts of sinful people. God despised those evil acts. God despises all acts of evil. God was there with Joseph in the pit, in slavery, and in jail. And God manipulated all those circumstances to put Joseph where the Almighty’s plan said he should be.
The story of Joseph’s life is a story that is true to life. But its most important truth is in its message. “God cares for those who place their trust on high.”
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, God will be faithful to you. No matter what the situation is in your life, God is at work in it. If you have placed your trust in Jesus, then you shall be saved. Not just from the fires of hell, but from everything that isn’t a part of God’s plan for you.
Friends, you will still have troubles. You may find yourself in a pit, or in bondage, or imprisoned, just as Joseph did. But know this: God is there with you using those circumstances for your best good. Joseph placed his trust in God, and God saved him. And God will preserve you as well. Shalom and Amen!
Scripture: Genesis 45:1-15