As one who grew up in church, I have heard the Joseph story told a gazillion times.
I’ve heard it preached -“From Prison to Palace.”
I’ve seen it performed in a play, “From rags to riches.”
I’ve listened to it taught “From the pit to the palace” and I’m sure if I really thought hard enough I may end up recalling it being sang “God’s favoring.”
Tonight as I go through the story again, I find how easy it is to gloss over the events which unfolded and move on to the other chapters to complete my daily reading plan.
It’s easy for God’s Word to become routine, boring, even ordinary to us as believers. Sadly, if we are not careful we become apathetic to the Word and take it for granted.
Same old verse. Same old passage. Same old story. Same old same old.
Tonight though, I want to interrupt your thought and slowly scroll through this 13 plus years period of our beloved Joseph.
Joseph was the eleventh child born to the Patriarch, Jacob. His mother’s name was Rachel and she was the favorite wife aka girl thang of Jacob. Jacob fell in love with Rachel at first sight and loved everything about her, especially the children she bore him.
After many years of marriage and her womb being closed by God, Rachel finally conceived and out sprung Joseph. You can imagine the joy his daddy felt. A child of his sweetie pie to remind him of his sweetie pie. Ooh la la.
Fast forward a few years and Joseph was given a coat of many colors. He was also in training as being governor over his father’s affairs. He kept a tab on his brothers’ doings and without hesitation or remorse gave a detailed report on what his brothers were up to.
His biased father trusted his judgment.
One day, the cup of frustration with his brothers reached the brink. “Here comes our dreamer brother” they spoke among each other, “let’s rid ourselves of him once and for all.”
We know the story – Joseph was sold to Midian merchants en route to Egypt.
Here’s where the parts we begin taking for granted comes to full color.
Instead of the merchants keeping Joseph as their slave, they sold him in Egypt. Joseph ended up in Potiphar’s care and because of God’s favor on his life, became the man in charge. Joseph had experience being in charge and giving reports and now here was in a similar position.
Sure, he was a slave but isn’t it like God to use our gifts in the most unlikely of circumstances?
Anyhow, so Joseph is doing his thing and boom, Mrs. Potiphar likes what she sees and wants to explore it further. Joseph fearing God ran for his life and once more, he was dealt another pit experience.
While locked up, God’s favor remained on Joseph. The prison warden showed him favor and Mr. J was again put in charge. His experience of running the ship came in handy in this phase of life – again.
Side note – never allow your situation to dictate how you use God’s gift. By that I mean, never be so bitter with your circumstances that you bury the gifts and talents God has given you. Had Joseph moped around he would have buried his light under a bushel.
Back to the story, so in comes prisoners and they take a liking to Joseph. He isn’t bitter at his placement (granted he may not be too happy being there either) but He works as unto God. He goes about his daily tasks and the Lord allows these prisoners from the palace to find Joseph and share their dreams with him.
Joseph interprets their dreams and asks them, well, the one who would remain alive to remember him. Isn’t it like God to allow us to bless others in the same way we would wish to be blessed. Years prior, Joseph had two dreams and no one was there to either interpret or encourage him. Now he had to interpret two dreams and one of which would have led to a promotion of the dreamer leaving the interpreter back at square one.
I believe this was too, a test of character for Joseph. Sometimes I believe God does the same with us. He allows us to have gifts that are under development and put us around others with similar gifts to see how we treat them and how we act with the gifts we have.
Chief cupbearer is released from prison and eventually he comes around to “remembering” Joseph’s interpretation of his dream and subsequently introducing Mr. J to King Pharaoh.
We know how the story ends, Joseph gets promoted and ends up being the governor that saved the world as we know it. Civilization did not end because of the famine and so on so forth.
All the above you’ve read leads me to the following message I got as I read the story. Here goes: God is very intentional.
You see, Egypt was a very, very big country yet God intentionally placed Joseph with these group of Midianites passing through the desert, who deliberately sold Joseph to no other than Potiphar who because of his wife was forced to imprison Joseph. Instead of being thrust into a “common prison”, Joseph was placed into the “King’s prison” where he was given such favor that he was able to meet with the King’s personal servants who tad-a, eventually became the conduits between Joseph and Pharaoh.
God is intentional!
Do you feel as though you are thrust in a sea of issues my friend? Are you feeling lost and forgotten into the ocean of life? Are your problems feeling mountainous and insurmountable? Like Joseph, do you feel forgotten and cast off into a strange land? Take heart beloved, God has not forgotten about you.
He is very intentional in His plans concerning you and will perfect all that concerns You. You are not alone, and all the bumps and curves along the many roads, are actually leading you somewhere intentionally chosen.