Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lead on Joseph!! Show us the way with faith!

Do you know where I found myself this morning? Well, I was deep in thought with Joseph. I opened my bible to Genesis 37 and began reading about Joseph's life. You know, it really is something of amazement. As I am reading all I can think of is, "Why do I spend such time reading other books when God's word is filled with such stories to light my way?" I really do read a lot. I love reading, but I do spend more time with my nose in  books than my bible.

Joseph was his father's favorite, and that caused friction within the family. Jacob made it known that Joseph was a favored child. Did he really think that was going to turn out good? All those boys, yikes! So here Joseph is hated by his brothers. They had such jealousy toward him. Wouldn't you love to be here in attendance when Joseph is sharing these dreams? Did he tell them with a humble heart of a young man or did he add a bit of attitude for essence?

Genesis 37:7-8 "We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around mine!" His brothers responded, "So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them."

But what catches my eye here is this dream was so very real. Later on it is Joseph who holds all the grain and the brothers are at his feet begging for this very grain to feed their families. (Gen 42:1-3) Another fact that made me go, "aha" was the fact that in his brother's anger and bitterness they totally missed the fact that they too would be rulers!!

Genesis 37:9-11 "Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. "Listen, I have had another dream," he said. "The sun, moon, and stars bowed low before me!" This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but hiss father scolded him. "What kind of dream is that?" He asked. "Will your mother and I bow to the ground before you?" But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant."

Genesis 47:5-6 "Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock too."

How many times have I missed a blessing because I couldn't see past myself? Past my selfishness and anger? These brothers thought Joseph was the enemy, but he very well was a chosen a leader for God. God had plans for his brothers too. We find ourselves in such jealousy when one is chosen over another. Why? God had plans for all of them. They just allowed their flesh to control their thoughts and emotions that led to such heartache for Joseph.

Through Joseph being left for dead by his brothers, being sold into slavery, and being imprisoned God used what others wanted for evil for His good. He used Joseph to bring hope to not only his family, but faith to a starving land. During the end of the story when Joseph faces his brothers there is no anger. He knows all has happened for a greater purpose. I love what he shares with his brothers next.

Genesis 45:3-9 "I am Joseph!" He said to his brothers. "Is my father still alive?" But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. "Please, come closer," he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, "I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don't be upset with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an advisor to Pharaoh-the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt."

There is no anger in Joseph. We see faith and trust in God. We see a love he has kept for his family. For the brothers who left him and did not care about him, but now their hearts are changed and humbled. They cannot look to their brother without seeing the grace of God.

So many times I sit here today afraid of tomorrow. Scared of what is happening right now. Unsure of what God's plans are. Insecurity playing tricks on my heart. I can look to Joseph and know God does have a plan. He is working behind the scenes in areas I cannot see as of yet. He is molding and growing us for tomorrow, for bigger things. But first we must trust Him with the smaller things of today.

I never read once where Joseph lost his faith. I never read any place where Joseph was filled with hate over his life and the circumstances that surrounded him. May we learn from Joseph and the example that God gives us through him to hold on my friends. Have faith. Surrender our fears and worries to the God that is in total control of our lives!!
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