Although there were times when it clearly didn’t seem like it, Joseph still had the favour of God, despite the enemy’s plans to sabotage it.
As a young boy he enjoyed the favour of his father, to his brothers’ frustration and envy, and it all came to a head when he told them that God had shown him that one day they would all bow down to him, including his parents. That was when the brothers decided they would exact their revenge and take matters into their own hands.
In Joseph’s mind his God-given distant dream must have looked shiny and twinkling like the stars, but when things took a different turn and, through no fault of his own and a series of unpleasant events, he found himself in prison, he must have wondered what on earth was happening.
His journey from the prison to the palace is inspiring and encouraging and would be wonderful if it was just about one man’s life. But God always has a greater purpose.
From God’s standpoint, the lives of many people were at stake, and he had alerted the Pharaoh of the day, through two significant dreams, that seven terrible years of famine were coming, following seven years of plenty. A good and gracious God was looking for someone who would be obedient and faithful, despite rejection, false accusation and imprisonment (Psalm 105:17-19), and who would be in the right place at the right time to save many people’s lives.
In it all was God’s purpose. God needed a man, who at the end of it all, was willing to forgive because something greater was at stake. It was never only about one man, but the saving of many. Now in a position of prominence, and with his years of affliction behind him, Joseph’s forgiving words to his brothers were, “Don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives” (Genesis 45:5.).
He never sought status, his promotion was God-given and now, as second in line to Pharaoh, Joseph’s job was to fully embrace the purposes of God. Ultimately, in serving his brothers, the whole of Egypt, and the surrounding nations in a time of famine, he served the purposes of God in his generation. He was saved to serve, as we all are.
The journey of life is fraught with unexpected twists and turns, but in it all God’s purpose is all that matters. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Help me, Lord, to serve Your purpose in my generation to the honour and glory of Thy holy name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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