Story of Joseph
Old Testament – Talk Thru the Bible
2 Timothy 2:2 – Hear, Entrust, Teach, Multiply!
Have you heard of the “school of hard knocks?” Most of us have learned harsh lessons that way. They are part of our personal testimony as believers in Jesus Christ. However, there is a better way than paying “dumb taxes” to acquire the character God wants us to have.
Now, these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages has come. – 1 Corinthians 10:11
This lesson concludes our discussion about four men whose lives are chronicled in Genesis 12-50. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph have much to teach us. By looking closely at their lives, we can minimize the lessons learned from in the school of hard knocks.
Next to Jesus, Joseph may be the best example of godly character and integrity in the Bible. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. His brothers knew that their father loved Joseph more than them. For that reason, they all hated Joseph. When Joseph was 17 years old, something incredible happened.
Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. – Genesis 37:5-8
In a second dream, similar to the first, God revealed that the entire family would one day bow before Joseph. Enough was enough! From that day onward, Joseph’s brothers conspired together to rid themselves of the constant reminder of Jacob’s favoritism. Eventually, Joseph was sold into slavery for twenty pieces of silver.
Unjustly stripped of his position in Jacob’s house, Joseph never let anger and resentment control his emotions or actions. Time after time, Joseph’s good character won out. In Egypt, the master who owned him raised him from household slave to household supervisor. Later, falsely accused, Joseph once again found himself thrown into a pit, placed in a prison cell.
God’s hand was clearly on Joseph. Two servants from Pharaoh’s household found themselves in prison with Joseph. A butler and a baker. Both had troubling dreams, and Joseph, as we already know, was an interpreter of dreams. Joseph knew what the dreams meant. Accordingly, the baker lost his head. The butler got his old job back.
Two years later, the self-proclaimed ruler of the world had a couple of troubling dreams. Egypt served other gods. In fact, Pharaoh thought himself to be diety. When none of his counselors could tell Pharaoh what his dreams meant, the butler remembered Joseph. The man despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, placed in a pit and a prison, moved uptown to the penthouse.
Joseph always remained dependent upon God. He never got lost in the trappings of power and wealth. Joseph remained faithful to the visions God gave him as a youth. Because he was a servant leader, Joseph served Pharaoh and others wholeheartedly. Why? The dreams he told his brothers had not yet come true. The Lord God would use Joseph, the man who was once a slave, to save his family and a nation. The rest, as they say, is history. To get the rest of the story, read the Book.
Joseph’s life lessons could make all the difference in our world today if we only follow his example!
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Read Genesis 27, 39-50