Are you waiting on God for something? Let us pray for you.
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” (Genesis 45:8)
The story of Joseph reads like a string of good news, bad news scenarios. (You can read the whole story in Genesis chapters 37-50) Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, dreams that his brothers will all bow in submission to him. Jealous and angry, they throw him into an empty cistern while they determine his fate. They consider killing him, but sell him to a caravan of traders instead. Then they dip Joseph’s robe in goat’s blood, show it to their father and let him assume Joseph died in a wild animal attack.
Joseph ends up a slave in Egypt, but God blesses him and allows Joseph to gain the admiration of his owner. Potiphar places Joseph over everything he owns. There, Joseph prospers until Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses of him trying to rape her and Potiphar throws Joseph into prison.
God shows kindness to Joseph and his conduct pleases the warden, who puts him in charge of the other prisoners and the running of the prison. Joseph interprets a dream for a fellow prisoner and asks to be remembered when Pharaoh restores the man to his former position.
When Pharaoh has a dream two years later, the cupbearer remembers Joseph and advises the king to call for him. Because Joseph, through God’s power, interprets the dream for the king, Pharaoh makes him ruler over the entire country of Egypt to oversee the gathering and storing of grain during the years of plenty for the years of famine that will follow.
Don’t breeze through Joseph’s story assuming that “all’s well that ends well”. Joseph probably spent 15 years in slavery and prison before he came to Pharaoh’s attention. Mistreated, wrongly accused and forgotten, Joseph spent a decade and a half in the prime of his life waiting for God to rescue him.Yet, when his brothers finally bow down to him years later, Joseph sees himself not as a victim of misfortune but as a participant in God’s great plan.
“But Joseph said to [his brothers], ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’” (Genesis 50:19-20)
It’s tough to trust God and wait in the middle of difficult circumstances, but Joseph’s story gives us a different perspective. Someone else may intend to harm you, but temporary trouble–even 15 years is temporary because it’s not eternal–doesn’t mean God is not at work. God’s purpose cannot be defeated.
God, give me Your perspective on my situation. Help me to trust in You and wait for You to rescue me. Amen
Questions: Why do you think Joseph was able to see his situation as God sending him to Egypt rather than his brothers? How can we see our circumstances through God’s perspective?