Born the son of his old age, Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his brethren. He gave Joseph leadership roles within the family, made him a fine, multi-colored coat, and had the young man check in on his brothers who worked in the field.
Joseph dreamed dreams that indicated that God would one day set him in a prominent role, not only in the family, but also the world.
His brothers tired of his dreams, and his reporting their bad behavior, so one day, the threw him in a hole before selling him to slave traders. They covered their crime by tearing his coat and dipping it in animal blood to make it look like Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.
As a slave, Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to a high-ranking nobleman by the name of Potiphar.
At this point, the Bible tells us one key detail about Joseph, that the Lord was with him. In fact, the Lord was with him to the point that he prospered every thing that he did, and Potiphar saw that. Therefore, Potiphar made him the manager of his entire estate.
Things went well until Potiphar’s wife, angry that Joseph had rejected her advances, falsely accused him of trying to assault her. Joseph was then thrown into prison.
Yet, despite his circumstances, God was still with Joseph, to the point that even the Egyptian jailer could see it. Therefore, Joseph was placed in charge of all the other inmates.
While serving as jail trustee, Joseph interpreted dreams by two inmates, one the former butler of Pharaoh, the other, Pharaoh’s former baker. The dreams foretold that the butler would be restored to Pharaoh’s house, but the baker would be executed.
That prophecy came true, which led to Joseph being invited to Pharaoh’s palace to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, which foretold of a coming famine. Having interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph was placed in charge of the entire Egyptian nation, and led the Egyptians through the worst famine in their history, and was able to save his own brothers (who had sold him into slavery) as well as his father from starvation.
Joseph’s story, chronicled in Genesis 37-50, tells us how God uses even the worst of situations to our benefit, and how He plans our lives in the process.
Looking at Joseph’s story early on, his dreams involving his brothers’ sheaves of grain bowing to his sheaf not only indicates that he would become the family’s leader, but also that he would provide his family with sustenance. The sheaves of grain very likely pointed to the fact that it would be a lack of grain that would not only propel Joseph to his position of leadership, but also create the situation where he saves his brothers by providing grain for them.
The dream about the sun, moon and stars bowing to him showed that his prominence would even rise above that of his parents, possibly to the point of global prominence. That eventually happened when he became ruler of Egypt.
In order for all that to happen, Joseph would have to go to Egypt. When his brothers sold him into slavery, God used that to place Joseph where he would need to be in order to save his family and become their patriarch.
One final note from the life of Joseph, when his brothers came to Egypt, after a quick test to check their character, Joseph forgave and reconciled with them. There’s a lesson we can all learn from that example. Check out the above-posted “Point” podcast, and feel free to come visit with us Sunday.