The Story of Joseph

The Bible has many stories about everyday people whose lives have have not at first, aCancelppeared to be on the right track. The life of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 was a case in point. Joseph was eleventh of twelve brothers. He was his father's favorite son, as he was born when Jacob was elderly, Joseph was known as a silly dreamer, as he was constantly talking about his night dreams o his brothers. In them, he sees his brothers bowing down to him. This enraged the other boys and so they determined to kill him. However, one of the brothers saved him, selling him into slavery instead. Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to a wealthy man called Potiphar. As a servant. Joseph worked hard and eventually he was made Governor over Potiphar's house and was overseer of all the household.

The Bible says that Potiphar could see that the Lord was with him and that he  recognized that there was a certain quality about Joseph that he did not see in many others, that he could be trusted in a place of authority

Now, Joseph was an awesome looking guy and Potiphar's wife decided that she wanted to have an affair with him. But Joseph was loyal to Potiphar and held high standards of integrity. So, he refused her advances. But she would not be denied and set things up so it looked as though Joseph had tried to rape her. Joseph was thrown into prison and there, he languished for two years.

Joseph had been the victim of betrayal and abuse, seemingly for much of his life. His freedom and his right to live the life that he wanted had been taken from him by both family and employer. Many in his situation would have given up, or become bitter. But Joseph believed that he had been born for a purpose. He knew that if he stayed strong, persevered through all the hardships, he would have the life that he had seen in his dreams. So he hauled himself to the top of the mountain of faith, to a position where he could see beyond his present circumstances

It is interesting to see how God uses the thing that first got Joseph into all this trouble, to get him released from prison. It happened that Pharaoh had a couple of unusual dreams He called for his magicians to interpret them but they were unable to do so. It was at this time, that Pharaoh's chief butler remembered that he had met a man in prison who had this gift. So, Joseph was brought to Pharaoh, who wanted to know if he was able to interpret the dreams. Joseph replied that only God could interpret dreams and would reveal the answer to him. Pharaoh then talked about his dreans in detail, as he remembered them. Joseph told him what the dreams meant and Pharaoh realizes at this point, he was in the presence of a very special young man.

It so happened that Pharaoh had two dreams. In the first, he saw seven fat, healthy cows coming out of the river and grazing in the marsh grass. Then he saw seven more cows, thin and scrawny, come up behind them from the Nile. These thin cows then ate the fat ones. The second dream is similar, but involved heads of grain, the first, beautiful and plump, the second, shriveled and wrinkled. Joseph explains that God is telling the Pharaoh that there will be seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine. So, Pharaoh should prepare for thiis.

Joseph is released from prison and Pharaoh puts him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Joseph was thirty years old when this occurred. Pharaoh took his signet ring off his finger and put it on Joseph's hand. He also gave Joseph royal robes, this included the Chain of Office of Prime Minister. During the next seven years, Joseph prepared the nation for the time of famine. God gave Joseph the wisdom in knowing how to manage the crops. Excess from the wheat crops was put aside to use at a later time.

It is amazing how God works to bring people back together and to heal broken relationships.The famine was very severe. But Jacob, Joseph's father had heard that there was plenty of grain in Egypt. So, he sent ten of his sons to acquire some for the family. In Egypt, Joseph recognized his brothers, yet they did not recognize him. At this point, Joseph could have made them suffer. Perhaps he would make them beg for their grain, or not allow them to have it. But no. Joseph missed his family and longed to be reunited with them. He had walked through the dark valleys of cruel treatment and despair. But he never took his eyes off the promise in his dreams. Summoning all the courage that he could muster, Joseph rose to the highest point of his faith and shook off any attitude that would hinder his vision for the future. He embraced the gifts that God had given him and then released them so that they could be used to help others.

The life of Joseph shows us that whatever our situation, if we keep our eyes on God and His promise, practice forgiveness and treat others with respect, we will see our dreams come true.