It’s been days since I last had my quiet time and lately I’ve been depressed and was in need of a heavy accountability talk. Somehow, I came upon the life of Joseph in Genesis 39 and read through till the early chapters of Exodus. I think we all know the story but I think I’ve left out some points to ponder on.
Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob and his most favorite. He was a dreamer and can interpret dreams, a talent given by the Lord. His brothers disliked him and they were jealous of him. One day, Jacob asked Joseph to go to Shechem to check on his brothers who shepherds. The obedient young man followed his father’s instructions and proceeded to the town. When he got there, his brothers were nowhere to be seen and there was a man who told him that his brothers went to Dothan. Was it a coincidence that there was a man who heard where his brothers were going? Joseph could have gone home and told his father that his brothers were in Dothan. But he went to Dothan and there he was sold as a slave.
They were actually plotting to kill him, but one of his brothers suggested to just throw Joseph in an empty cistern so he could take Joseph out and rescue him. But then their plans changed, instead of leaving Joseph there to die, they decided to sell him off as a slave and told their father that Joseph had been devoured by a wild animal by soaking his fancy robe with goat’s blood. So Joseph was brought to Egypt and was sold off to Potiphar, the Pharaoh’s chief of guard. Now, was it a coincidence that Joseph was sold to the Pharaoh’s chief of guard? He could have been sold to a different master.
Even so, the Lord was with Joseph. He prospered under his Egyptian master and when Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph, he put him in charge of everything in his household. His house was so blessed in both the house and the field. Then Potiphar’s wife kept asking Joseph to sleep with her as Joseph was a handsome young man. Joseph kept fleeing away until one day there was no one in the house and the mistress caught him. Joseph fled but his garments were left so Potiphar’s wife told everyone that Joseph tried to touch her and fled when he saw that people were starting to get back in the house. Was it a coincidence that Joseph was framed? He could have fled Potiphar’s house the moment his master’s wife showed interest in him.
Joseph was then imprisoned in a place where the Pharaoh’s prisoners were confined. The Lord was with Joseph, showed kindness and granted him the favor of the prison warden. Joseph was then appointed in charge of the prison. Was it a coincidence that he was imprisoned, moreover placed where the Pharaoh’s prisoners were? He could have been killed at his “transgression” or placed in a normal prison, if there was any.
Sometime later, the cupbearer and the baker of the Pharaoh was sent to the prison where Joseph was as they offended their master. One day, the two had dreams and Joseph interpreted it for them. The cupbearer was to serve the Pharaoh again while the baker will be put to death in three days. After three days, Joseph’s interpretation of the dream materialized. But the cupbearer forgot to help Joseph out of the prison until two years later. Two years! Joseph waited for two years!
The Pharaoh had a dream and called everyone who can interpret his dream. But none was able to do so. Until the cupbearer remembered Joseph and he was called out from the prison to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream. It was about the seven years of famine and seven years of abundance. Joseph was then put in charge of everything, just below Pharaoh. He was 30 years old when he was put in charge of Egypt. And that was his big break.
God’s plans slowly became clear but it was only the beginning of a far grander one. Imagine if Joseph disobeyed Jacob when he was asked to go to Shechem. Imagine if Joseph the man did not overhear his brothers about Dothan. Imagine if Joseph did not proceeded to Dothan. Imagine if he fled from Potiphar the moment his wife first seduced Joseph. Imagine if Joseph gave up in the prison and just ended his life or cursed God. Joseph was a faithful servant. He knew that God had plans for him, but he didn’t know how it would materialize. Just as much as Joseph kept his faith, the Lord kept His as well and He preserved Joseph’s life all throughout.
Joseph never harbored any resentments to his family. When the famine was severe in Egypt and everyone bought food from the country, Joseph met his brothers who went there to buy food. To make the story short, they reconciled and wept. Jacob was also sent to Egypt to meet his favorite son. There, his family stayed and was given the best of everything in the land of Egypt as Joseph found favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and the Hebrews grew in number in Egypt.
Here, Joseph understood why those things happened in the past. God prepared Joseph to save the life of his family. God sent him ahead to accomplish greater things in life for the benefit of everyone.
When you read through the first chapters of Exodus, you will see the continuation of the story after Joseph died. Because of Joseph, and because the Pharaoh allowed his family to live in Egypt, the Hebrews grew in number and acquired riches. The new Pharaoh was not aware of what Joseph had done to the country and to the people, so he put the Hebrews in great labor to lessen their population. The male babies were killed so they will not increase in number. This was then the beginning of Moses’ story and how God will show Egypt and the Hebrews how powerful He is through miracles like parting the Red Sea and the 7 plagues in Egypt.
And if Joseph had seen all those, he would be glad that he went through all that. He was the instrument to God’s mighty works. It may have been hard, and the time took so long for God to finally reveal His plan, but it was all worth it. When we obey, and if we keep on walking in faith, we will surely see how grand God’s plan is for us. We just keep holding on and always believe that God has something in store for us.
My take home was that God’s plan is not revealed in one sitting, in one crying, in one praying. I need to walk daily with Him. To know who He is, and to know His will for me. It will take time but doesn’t it sound interesting? To know nothing and to wake up everyday looking forward to how God will reveal His plans for me? So my prayer is that He will slowly reveal Himself to me and transform me into someone who’s faith is anchored in Him – firm and secure – and to live everyday without worrying of the future, the present, nor the past because I know who my God is.