Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Nikki and I have read the story of Joseph to our kids many times and afterwards we point out that through God, when things may look bad, our circumstances can change dramatically for the better by the end of the day. I have noticed that the way the kid's stories read, no matter which "version", Joseph was innocent and undeserving of any harsh treatment. This kinda perplexed me, after all, is there anyone in the bible that doesn't have something negative written about them?

At 17 years old Joseph was spoiled and he was a snitch. Look at it, his brothers couldn't speak to him without contempt and cursing. But that didn't keep Joseph from declaring his dreams of lordship over them. TWICE! As if being a daddy's boy and being a self important punk wasn't enough, he was either lazy or scared. Because when his brothers went out to work, Joseph hung out at home, until daddy got after him.

Then Joseph got lost looking for his brothers. Was it because he took his own sweet time to try to catch up to them or was he just clueless? On top of it all Joseph made it a point to wear the coat that daddy gave him. Was it the only coat he had or did he want to "remind" his older brothers how important he thought he was?

I cannot determine why God's favor rested upon Joseph after he was sold to Potiphar. Maybe it was after getting sold into slavery that Joseph realized he wasn't so special after all. Maybe reflecting upon how his life had been spared, Joseph was humbled. I don't know. I do find it interesting that Joseph fell into a similar trap with his boss' wife that he did with his older brothers. Was Joseph so unaware of his surroundings and the people around him that he could not pick up on their negative spirits? Or was it Joseph didn't learn from a previous mistake. In both circumstances, with his brothers and Potiphar's wife, Joseph was aware of the bad intentions of both. Yet he fell right into both of traps. Was he so self-confidant that he thought he was untouchable, that he didn't need to keep his guard up. Or was Joseph so naive that he didn't learn the fact that if his family could betray him, why wouldn't a selfish, libidinous woman?

Either way, Joseph failed to recognize his weakness and what was going on around him. He made the same mistake twice and both times it was very costly to his personal freedom.

But again, the favor of God is upon Joseph and he prospers running the prison. (A lot more to run than a household, maybe?) Did God's favor ever leave Joseph? I don't think so, I don't believe God is as fickle as people are when it comes to making mistakes.

It seems to me that Joseph was gifted at organization and leadership because of him being able to run Potiphar's house and the prison smoothly and later he would run the entire nation of Egypt. Which shows that first Joseph was faithful in the smaller things and the Lord increased him with bigger responsibilities.

Even after correctly interpreting the dreams of the baker and the cup bearer, Joseph was still imprisoned for two years. Think of that! Word must have gotten back to Joseph about what happened to the baker and the cup bearer, but he was still stuck in prison. Do you think he questioned God's purpose in his life? Do you think he ever asked God, "Why me?" Maybe Joseph asked God, "How much longer?" or "How much more do I gotta put up with?"
  • I have been targeted by family and coworkers
  • My attitude or words have brought out the worst in the people around me
  • I have not learned from past mistakes
  • I have been faithful in the natural and Spiritual gifts God has given me.
  • I have used my skills or Gifts and have them seem to go unappreciated?
I know I have been a punk towards God, my family, friends coworkers and strangers.  I know that I can do better and I continue to press forward.  I also know that God judges the my motivations and not the successes of my work.  And if God does this for me, He does it for you.

I think everyone has endured along the lines of Joseph and if that's the case, then why can't you be blessed like Joseph. After all God doesn't love Joseph more than He loves YOU! There isn't anyone God loves more than YOU! (Go ahead an follow the links to those two verses and read how important you are to God)
So why can't you wake up one day in prison
and go to sleep that same night in a palace?


Linda Maynard said...

Lots to consider in your post. I probably was overwhelmed with compassion towards Joseph, that I didn't consider the seedier parts of his personality.
As far as your last statement I was thinking...I HAVE been freed from prison...that is a reality, if I believe God's Word...I AM a joint heir with Christ...I AM the Bride of the Bridegroom, who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords...I AM Royalty...As our mind is a I still think I am trapped?...What if??? I spend more time thinking of my standing IN Christ...will I act differently, in spite of my "worldly" circumstances? I'd like to think so...but sometimes those "flesh pots of Egypt" ( i.e. prison) seem too enticing to ignore.
I just keep on keepin' on.
Thanks Dave for challenging me to think.

Tracy said...

Adored this post! Joseph has long been one of my favorite Bible accounts. It shows how good God is; as I read your words about Joseph's defects of character and God's favor on him anyway, I gratefully think about how that's how God is. He uses flawed human beings. He chooses to put His favor on us, not because we're so great, but because He is.

Unfortunately I've been a punk sometimes too-yet God has never stopped loving me. It is indeed His loves that draws me to repentance. I see how God's love and favor changed Joseph into a man who did show God's greatness to others as he matured. May I be that same way. A lot of tough stuff is going on in my life right now and this encourages me.