I was reading Genesis 37 today in the message version and the story of Joseph leaves me in awe. Im sure y’all know the story of Joseph but a small refresher..
Joseph had all these dreams that he was gonna rule over his family but he just couldn’t close his mouth. He haaaad to tell his half brothers and because of that, his dad rebuked him. But instead of taking heed, he continued to tell his dad and brothers of his dream which showed him ruling over them. Because of that; jealousy brewed and his brothers ultimately faked his death and sold him as a slave without his father’s knowing.
The first thing I learned from this portion of scripture was how God can use our mistakes.
I mean just from reading the story, you almost wanna slap Joseph, cos if he just kept his mouth shut…he could have played happy families until God finally promoted him. But he opened his mouth (way toooooo prematurely)! And because of that he was about to become a slave!! the complete opposite of what God promised. Imagine how Joseph felt as he was being sold? If it was me? I mean…What dream? My faith would have died. What God? What plan? God and I would be done (even though it was my fault for opening my mouth!)
With God there’s hope. Always. No matter what.
No matter how many mistakes you’ve made - God will never leave you and because God himself is with you, you have everything you need for a breakthrough! Just keep trusting Him and seeking Him.
“As it turned out, GOD was with Joseph and things went very well with him.He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that GOD was with him, saw that GOD was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, GOD blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of GOD spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.” - Genesis 39:2-6 (MSG)
Meanwhile trouble was brewing!
Potiphar’s wife saw Joseph was handsome! She tried to sleep with him - several times!
The second lesson I learned in reading this story was around temptation and slander. Joseph ultimately made a mistake, and because of that he ended up a slave. Now, unbeknown to him, God was working this out for his gooooooood! I mean his goooood! He would be second in charge of the WHOLE nation!! But still, he had no clue and had every reason to think God had forgotten him. Like I said before, I would have.
Even still, when Potiphar’s wife came to tempt him, he declined. See me? I would have said welp! God has left me, I might as well. How much more harm can it do? But Joseph had integrity. He acted like a man of faith, even when perhaps his faith was finishing. His character remained upright, and you can kinda see why God would promote a man like that.
Lets av a lil read:
“He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?” - Genesis 39:8-9 (MSG)
Joseph!! He had every right to forget God cos he may have felt like God had forgotten him, but he remained faithful to God regardless!
Your attitude when you have nothing is everything. What you do when men accuse you and slander you is everything. What you do in private, not public, is everything. How you react to temptation when no man is looking is everything!!
Why? Because God sees everything and He judges all. The bible even says God looks at what you do privately and will reward you for it openly.
“She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her.” - Genesis 39:10 (MSG)
The witch wouldn’t stop! And sometimes that’s how Satan is when we feel low and depressed. He will not stop throwing rocks at you until you fall. But your reaction, your stance, your attitude, your faith is everything.
Let’s continue reading:
“On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, “Sleep with me!” He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. When she realized that he had left his coat in her hand and run outside, she called to her house servants: “Look—this Hebrew shows up and before you know it he’s trying to seduce us. He tried to make love to me but I yelled as loud as I could. With all my yelling and screaming, he left his coat beside me here and ran outside.”
She kept his coat right there until his master came home. She told him the same story. She said, “The Hebrew slave, the one you brought to us, came after me and tried to use me for his plaything. When I yelled and screamed, he left his coat with me and ran outside.”
When his master heard his wife’s story, telling him, “These are the things your slave did to me,” He was furious. Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail GOD was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because GOD was with him; whatever he did GOD made sure it worked out for the best.” - Genesis 39:11-23 (MSG)
So Joseph’s position was now even lower than before. Is that even possible? He stood firm in his faith, was honourable, refused temptation but went from slave to prisoner. How sway?
But still, the bible reminds us that God was with him. And God would ensure that it would all work out for his good! How encouraging!
To summarise Genesis 40, Two of the Kings officials were thrown into prison, one morning they woke up confused cos they had weird dreams, Joseph asked them what happened in the dreams and he then interpreted the dreams for the officials.
In Genesis 41, the opening sentence of the message version is: “two years passed.” ……Sorry!? …..Ya mean God left Joseph in that dutty prison for two years? My faith would have been really gone. But still Joseph’s character never changed. Still upright, still fleeing temptation, still faithful to His God. Still humble.
Pharaoh had a series of dreams and the two officials in prison remembered how accurate Joseph’s interpretations were. They called him in front of Pharaoh and he interpreted all the dreams perfectly! As a result, Pharaoh took him and made him second in charge of all the land.
Look at God. The message version says that Joseph was 30 when these things came to pass, yet he was seventeen when he began having these dreams.
I believe that whilst Joseph made a couple mistakes, God truly used these mistakes to humble him, position him, develop and test his character, so that when he was promoted, he truly was the man “fit for the job” like Pharaoh declared him to be.
Imagine if everything was well with Joseph from day one. No prison. No temptation. No mistakes. I doubt that character would have been seen. There would have been no way for God to show his glory.
The last lesson I learned was about forgiveness.
When Joseph was reunited with his brothers, everything he dreamed had come to pass. He had every right to be smug, to be mean, to be unforgiving, to remain bitter and resentful, I would. But he didn’t.
He blessed them. He helped them. He cried for them. He missed them. He forgave them and I think he did in his heart way before he saw them.
“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt.” - Genesis 45:4-8 (MSG)
He didn’t get even, instead, he blessed his entire family with substance. He used his position to help them. He didn’t hold their sins against them. He acted with love.
I learned so much! Your attitude, your faith, your character and your actions in the season where you feel like both God and man have left you is everything. I know its hard girl but, remain faithful to God. He will see your heart n actions privately and will reward you for it openly.