• Wayne Fox

Joseph Never Ever Gave Up

Joseph Never Ever Gave Up

In Genesis chapters 37-38; 40-50 we find the narrative about Joseph. The story of Joseph is probably one of the longest ones about an individual in the Bible. The story delineates the characteristics of Joseph’s; strength, faith, and it also demonstrates a characteristic of changeability as he faces different situations in his life. Joseph is required through the adversity that he goes through to be a changeable individual. These changes that occurred in his life are beyond his control. He is led by the discipline of sorrow and misfortune to become the ultimate leader that God needs him to be as God preserves the promise that He made to Abraham Joseph's great-grandfather. The most amazing attributes of Joseph is his ability to completely forgive his brothers as they are the cause of much of his adversity that occurs in his life.

The story of Joseph was one of the favorites stories among the Israelites. Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob’s sons, Benjamin being the youngest son of Joseph. Joseph and Benjamin seem to be the favorite sons of Jacob. They were the sons of his favorite wife Rachel. One of the things that Jacob did for Joseph was make him a long sleeve coat (some versions say a coat of many colors). The long sleeve coat was a coat of honor, because you worked in short sleeves, indicating that Joseph was not required to do the heavy-duty work.

Joseph had a little problem understanding how to win friends and influence people. He had a dream and he told his to his brothers. He dreamed that they were binding sheaves in the field and his sheave rose up and stood upright while their sheaves bowed down to Joseph. They asked Joseph; “if indeed he was going to reign over them”. They were probably thinking about the long sleeve coat that Jacob had made him, a coat of honor. Joseph continued his story of dreams as he had another dream. He dreamed the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to him. Joseph told this dream to his father and his brothers but Jacob rebuked him. Saying "what is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed bow down ourselves to the ground before you?"

There is an incident in Genesis 37:12ff where Joseph's brothers sold him for 20 pieces of silver. Jacob had asked Joseph to go check on his brothers in Shechem, where they were pasturing the sheep. When Joseph was approaching, they saw him coming and said; "here comes the dreamer let us kill him and throw him into one of these pits." But Ruben said “don't shed any blood let’s throw him into a pit then we can sell him to the Ishmaelites. The Ishmaelites took him down into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh who was the captain of Pharaoh's guards. God was with Joseph and he became successful in Potiphar's house. Potiphar saw that the Lord was with him in all that he did, Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s sight. And made Joseph, overseer of his entire house.

Joseph was a handsome young man and Potiphar's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said; "come lie with me." Joseph refused and told her; "because of me my master has no concerns about anything in the house, I cannot do this wickedness and sin against God." Potiphar's wife accused Joseph of trying to rape her and as a result Joseph was cast into prison.

Sometime later pharaoh’s cupbearer and his baker were thrown into prison. Pharaoh had become angry with his two officers and put them in prison with Joseph. Joseph had been appointed to be over the cupbearer and the baker while they were in prison. One night they both had a dream. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he saw that they were troubled. He asked them; “why their faces were downcast." The cupbearer told Joseph his dream, Joseph interpreted the cupbearer's dream, telling him that in three days Pharaoh will lift him up and restore his office.

Joseph interprets the baker's dream, telling him that in three days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and hang you on a tree. In three days, this is exactly what happens. The cupbearer was restored and the baker was executed.

Two whole years passed Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing by the Nile and seven cows attractive and plump, well fed grazing on grass. Seven lean cows ugly and gaunt came and ate up the seven fat cows. Pharaoh was very troubled; the magicians in Egypt could not interpret Pharaoh's dream. But the cupbearer remembered that Joseph had interpreted his dream and it came true just as Joseph had told him. The cupbearer told Pharaoh about the young Hebrew. So, Joseph was called in, he interpreted Pharaoh's dream; "there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. As a result, Joseph was made second in command to Pharaoh.

During all the adversity in Joseph’s life he never ever gave up, he never lost his faith in God. Looking back over Joseph life you can see how God prepared Joseph for the position to be second in command in the most powerful nation on earth at that time.

When Joseph was reunited with his brothers in: Genesis 50:19–20 (ESV) 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. This statement of Joseph’s is an indication of Joseph faith, trust, dependency, and his belief in God’s sovereignty.

If you went through the adversity that Joseph went through would you hold the same beliefs? Why?

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