Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 17

This entry is part 17 of 39 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 16: In the land of Canaan, when Jacob’s son Joseph is 17 years old, he begins to have dreams and is hated because of them. Later, “his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them…So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem” (Genesis 37:12-14).

Part 17 Joseph’s brothers were jealous of the relationship he shared with their mutual father. Joseph had been the favorite because he was the product of Jacob and Rachels union, and Jacob loved her more then all his other wives. Joseph’s brothers would often work hard in the field while Joseph was tutored and educated. Jacob’s special relationship with Joseph was obviously noticed by all. So, it came to pass that once his brothers had Joseph alone, their was bound to be trouble. “And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him” (Genesis 37:17-18). They next strip him of his robe of colors and push him into a pit. They originally thought of killing him, but Reuben prevented them. Instead of taking their brother’s life, they chose to sell him into slavery. “Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt” (vs. 28).

When they returned home to tell their father the news, he was so grieved to his heart that he rent (tore) his clothes, covered himself in ashes, and wore sackcloth as he mourned his son. “And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him” (vs. 35). Joseph was sold by the Midianites to Potiphar in Egypt.

As a person who loves his family and wants to be like his brothers, Joseph faces his most difficult challenge in life thus far. God is with Joseph, but he must become a slave and be away from his loved ones. He must have had feelings of betrayal and hatred toward his brothers because of the events that transpired. Yet, joseph seems to overcome these struggles as time passes. “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous 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 LORDmade all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand” (Genesis 38:2-4).

Joseph sees the light at the end of the tunnel as he oversees his master’s house. However, as fate would have it, Potiphar’s wife begins to flirt with him and desires him sexually. Joseph wants nothing to do with her and even tells her “behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (vs. 8-9). This situation worsens with time and Potiphar’s wife claims that Joseph raped her. “And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison” (vs. 20). Can we learn from these incidents? The bible states that God was with Joseph, but was he aware of this? Do we face this world on a daily basis without considering God’s presence? If we are his children through obedience to Christ in baptism, doesn’t his promises apply to us? “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?…Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:26,30) I encourage you to consider God’s presence in your life and to continually turn to him in prayer, so he is always at the forefront of your mind. What did Joseph know?

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