Joseph: Genesis 37- 50
The story of Joseph is one for the books, it reveals how God can prepare us for the unexpected and can help us overcome the struggles of our past. . If you have read Genesis and specifically Joseph’s story, you know that Joseph’s dealt with his fair load of difficulties but by God’s grace ended up mighty. Joseph’s life and story reminds us the power that God has in transforming harmful circumstances into ones that bring glory to his Kingdom. We have all been dealt different cards, some worse than others, but Joseph reminds us that God has the ability to turn ANY pain into joy. Overcoming our struggles and pain is possible.
The story starts in the Land of Canaan where Joseph resides with his brothers, his father, and mother. Israel (Jacob) favors his son Joseph and gives Joseph a robe of many colors. When Joseph’s brothers see the robe, they realize that their father loves Joseph more than them so they hate Joseph and do not speak peacefully to him (31:4-5). To make matters worse, Joseph has dreams, and in the dreams, he reigns over his brothers. When the brothers learn of Joseph’s dreams, they become more hateful and actively find a means to get rid of him.
Joseph is sold
The hatred that the brothers have for Joseph leads them to plot a plan to get rid of him; “ come let us sell to the Ishmaelite and “ let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh’’ (37:27).
Joseph’s adult life (chap 39-)
Joseph is sold to the Ishmaelite’s and ends up in Potiphar’s house. He finds favor in Potiphar’s house and becomes the overseer of the house. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife unjustly accuses Joseph of sleeping with her so Joseph is thrown into prison. In prison, Joseph becomes the keeper of the prison and interprets the dreams of two of pharaoh’s prisoners; this interaction later gets him to work with Pharaoh.
Joseph’s last stop is in Pharaoh’s house where he rises to power and saves the Egyptians from famine.
Our Pains and Obstacles
Joseph represents a lot of us; he was dealt an unfair card when his own brothers sabotaged him. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery thinking that it was going to be an end to him, but God had a plan. God gave Joseph a vision during his childhood and the Lord prepared him each step of the way so that the vision could be fulfilled. There are visions that God has shown you but your past and even present may not seem like it is catering to that vision, but it is. Joseph needed to leave Canaan so that he could be prepared to be the man that would save a multitude from famine.
Everything including those things that Satan tried to break you with will work for your good; “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NLT). Whatever childhood pain, heartbreak and unfairness you faced is not too big for God to use for his glory.
Success In a non-traditional atmosphere
Even in the wait, God is preparing you for greatness. You have to remeber that overcoming your struggles and past is posible with the grace of God. Joseph was a leader long before he arrived in Pharaoh’s presence. Joseph prospered in every circumstance that he found himself in because the Lord was with him. In the land where he was sold into slavery, he became the overseer of the house. In prison he became the prison keeper, in Egypt he became the right hand of Pharaoh. You too shall be held high in every place that you stand no matter how unfavorable that place may be. “ For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (41: 52), Even in the midst of the fire, you shall find water.
God is prepping you!
The Lord does not leave his children; he is still there even when your environment tries to tell you otherwise. Joseph had a dream that he would reign over his brothers and he surely did. Between the years that God gave Joseph the dreams and the fulfillment of the dreams, Joseph was tested, pruned, and stretched; God prepared him. God has given you a vision and it shall come to pass, but you must be patient. Allow God to prepare you during the wait. If you don’t allow God to prepare you, you will not be ready to walk into the vision with boldness, power, and authority. If Joseph did not first lead over Potiphar’s house, he wouldn’t have known how to lead in the land of Egypt.
“ It was not you who sent me here, but God”
When we start thinking of our obstacles and pains as a means of preparation, they become easier to overcome. A Christian life is not free of pain but nevertheless works out for our good, so we can walk with our heads held up high.
Joseph was hurt by the pain his brothers caused him but he trusted that God was on his side. Life can be very hard but joy cometh in the morning and the Lord shall be glorified.
Your suffering was & is not for Granted
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive” (50:20). Your pain and hard work shall not be for granted! The Lord is preparing you to bring life to nations. The devil will send obstacles for you to stumble, but he will not win. Trust in God, he has not forgotten about you. The Lord of Joseph is also your Lord; he has done it before and shall do it again.
Disclaimer: This is a brief analysis of Joseph’s story, focusing only on one aspect of the story. Please take the time to read these chapters in your own time; God has a lot to teach you in this story alone.