One of my prayers for this blog is that if God graces me with the words to write I will write them. Some days I feel completely uninspired and that's okay. Today I had it on my heart to tell you about this guy I heard of. To protect his identity (for the time being) I will refer to this guy as Mike...
Mike was born to a household with a lot of older brothers. His dad was quite old when Mike was born and his dad loved him so much that it made his brothers extremely jealous. As farmers, Mike's brothers did a lot of the work around the farm. Mike would go to his dad if his brothers did anything wrong which angered his brothers and when their dad gave Mike a special gift to show he was the favorite that only made things worse.
In most families, when stuff like this happens, most people wouldn't be on speaking terms. There might be a few arguements and awkward moments, but not here...
One day Mike's dad sent him out to check up on his brothers and those brothers threw him in a pit and left him to die. When some slave traders passed by they decided to make some easy money out of him and they sold their brother and told their father he was dead.
Mike was bought by a powerful man and, during the course of his work, was made manager of all that the man had. He was wrongly accused of wrongdoing and was thrown in prison. He proved trustworthy in prison and was given special duties. When he was released he was proven so wise he was put as second in command of the entire kingdom!
Does this story sound unbelievable? Weird? A little familiar?
When most people tell the story of 'Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat' I think the focus is on God's ability to work in spite of any difficult situation or any wrongdoing... or just Joseph's dad giving him a really cool coat.
I think many of us love to be 'favorite' and I'm sure Joseph certainly did! Not only was he his dad's favorite but he was given dreams and wisdom by God. Imagine, not only being the favorite in your house but being told by God that one day your brothers would bow down to you. That must have been pretty awesome right up until the whole pit incident...
Yep, I'm sure his whole sunny disposition changed very quickly down in that pit - I know mine would! I would be saying anything for them to get me out! I wonder if Joseph pleaded with God for his life. Then he gets taken out of the hole and maybe was thinking that everything would be ok... until the traders take him away to be a slave.
See the whole pattern here? Dad's favorite to pit, pit to being taken out, being taken out to slave, slave to overseer, overseer to prisoner, prisoner to freedom. Up and down it goes until, being freed, Joseph is taken to the Pharaoh and, after interpreting Pharaoh's dream, is made second in command.
The Bible plan I am reading through at the moment took me to the passages about Joseph (Genesis 37, 39-45 - continued further). What stood out to me was that, not only was God faithful to provide for Joseph, but that Joseph followed God.
"Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all [that] he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time [that] he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph's hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what [is] with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. "[There is] no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you [are] his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"" - (Genesis 39:1-9 NKJV)
"Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners [were] confined. And he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who [were] in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything [that was] under [Joseph's] authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made [it] prosper." - (Genesis 39:20-23 NKJV)
"Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and [there is] no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you [that] you can understand a dream, to interpret it." So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "[It is] not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."" - (Genesis 41:14-16 NKJV)
Through all his experiences I think that Joseph learned what it really meant to trust in God. Also I don't believe that Joseph would have been put in the 'positions of trust' that he was without being a trustworthy and honorable man.
As we live our lives we are put in both positions of honor and positions of hardship and I think the thing we need to learn from this is not only to trust in God, but to honor Him in the way we live our lives. I am not saying that we can't be a Christian without being a 'good person'
"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is], God."
(Mark 10:17-18 NKJV)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
(Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV)
What I am saying is that as we grow closer to God in our lives through the power of His work in our hearts we should seek to be the people that He wants us to be. By His work in our hearts, if we are willing, His desires for our life become our desires and it is then I think that our lives begin to shine and honor Him.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
(Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV)
I won't be perfected until I go to heaven... until that 'twinkling of an eye' (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In the mean time I pray that my life will be honoring to God; that my days here won't be wasted but will be used by Him to carry out His purpose.
I love my husband, Bren, so much and when I think about what I want for Him - I pray he will be a Joseph. No, that doesn't mean I want him thrown in a pit or put in jail, but I do want Him, despite any and every circumstance to love God and be led by Him. As he goes to work I hope that his bosses and colleagues see that 'the Lord is with Him'.
I pray that during the course of our lives, like Joseph, people might see the Lord is with us.
God bless. xoxo