Genesis 37-50! Joseph favored over his brothers. Joseph hated by his brothers. Joseph in the pit. Joseph sold into slavery. Joseph in Egypt. Joseph successful in Egypt. Joseph falsely accused. Joseph in prison. Joseph forgotten. Joseph interprets dreams. Joseph favored by Pharaoh. Joseph second only to Pharaoh himself. Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph’s brothers bow down before him and beg for mercy. Joseph makes monumental faith statement, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive”. (Genesis 50:19-20).
I don’t know about you but I think Joseph may be the greatest man of faith in the Old Testament. He has amazing trust in God – and not just in good times – Joseph stays the course and continues to do what is right even though he could have taken easier paths to prevent pain. Joseph continues to do what is right in very difficult circumstances WITHOUT getting angry at God for not making things more pleasant for him.
Keep in mind that the main character in the story of Joseph is not Joseph – it’s God. The loving Lord Almighty has an eternal plan to bring Jesus into the world. To do that He has to help establish faith in His people (descendants of Abraham) without forcing them to believe and do what is right. Unfortunately, only a remnant trust and obey God in their history from Abraham to Jesus. But in the Joseph story we see this amazing statement several times: “And the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2,3,21,23). The chief cupbearer forgot about Joseph (Genesis 40:23) but God didn’t – He remembered Joseph. As a result, God blessed Joseph greatly and then topped it off by using him in a powerful way to bring Jesus into the world to save mankind. He was with him ALL THE TIME.
Do you think Joseph thought, “All this time I have been faithful – all this time God has been with me”? The answer is “Absolutely YES”! I think we should strive to imitate Joseph and look at our lives of ups and downs and say in faith, “All this time God has been with me”.
Read Romans 8:28-39 and then listen to All this Time by Britt Nicole. Then trust God to be with you in all of life’s ups and downs.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.