Joseph

Chronicled in Genesis

      You would think that being a “fortunate son” would never have a downside. It was not so with Joseph. True, he did start out being the favored son of Jacob/Israel and Rachel (he was her firstborn, after all). He lived a fairly privileged existence while his half-brothers toiled away each day. Joseph was singled out by his parents as their “promise.” They even gave him an elaborately adorned coat of many colors. Does this sound like a life you could get used to? I’m sure.

      The pampered life did end a bit unexpectedly. Joseph’s brothers, already jealous of the attention, affection, and preferential treatment he received, became enraged when flaunted his dreams to them. You see, Joseph had the gift of prophetic dreams and interpretation, which hits close to home with me; my wife operates in this gift as well. Joseph had a couple of dreams that showed his brothers bowing before him and bragged to them about it. His brothers angrily threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery, misleading their parents into believing he had been killed by wolves.

      Joseph did prosper, as it were, in his new role as servant. He once again became a favored one and was moved into the house of Potiphar to take over as the lead house servant. All was going well when problems began to surface. This time trouble came in the form of Potiphar’s wife, who took a strong liking (or should I say lusting?) to Joseph. She attempted several times to entice Joseph to sleep with her. Joseph stood strong in the face of temptation, declining her advances out of devotion to his master and fear of repercussion from the Lord. Angry over being rejected, Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of attempted rape, which landed him in prison.

      While he suffered in silent bondage, Joseph again was shown favor, becoming a “lead” inmate. After interpreting the dreams of two Egyptian palace employees who had been incarcerated, Joseph asked that he be mentioned to Pharoah. After a couple of more years, the man who swore to Joseph he would remember him finally did. Joseph was brought to Pharoah’s courts to interpret dreams that had been troubling the Egyptian leader.

      After Joseph gave his interpretation, he had instant credibility in Pharoah’s eyes. Almost immediately, the ruler exalted Joseph to second in command of the Egyptian empire. Bear in mind that Joseph was a Hebrew, the sworn enemies of the Egyptian tyrants (it’s just like God to take the least likely candidate and put him in power). Years of anguish had turned to joy.

      During this time, Joseph’s brothers did bow to him, just as he had dreamed so many years earlier. This led to a reconciliation and reunion with Joseph’s family. He happily introduced his wife and children to “Grandpa” and experienced many happy days with his entire clan close by.

So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Be patient. When your gift is exposed, God will use it in a mighty way.

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