This past week we picked back up in our series The Divine Drama: God’s plan for humanity threaded through history.We started out the series by looking at the major milestones in scripture; Adam & eve, Noah, Abraham, the Exodus, the kingdom of David, Destruction of Jerusalem and Captivity, to Jesus. To these markers we revisited focusing on the covenants; The Fall of Man, the Promise to Abraham, The Law, and the Rebellion of Israel. We saw how God’s divine hand sustained Israel and corrected them, looking to have the relationship with them that was lost in the garden of Eden. Last year we connected back to The Divine Drama looking at the roles of Prophet, Priest, King, and Messiah. We saw how God used each role as key in his story with mankind. This time we are taking a new turn.. in visiting some of the Great Stories of the Bible.
As many of our people are new to faith and learning about the Bible for the first time, we have been taking a narrative approach to the stories looking to capture the arch and dynamic transformation as God gets involved. Such is definitely the case as we look to the story of Joseph.
Joseph was the favored son. His father did not hold back from showing it in giving him a special coat (of many colors) signifying it. His brothers were not happy. To make matters worse, Joseph has two dreams which he proceeds to tell to his brothers about how they will bow down to him. Thus.. they lie in wait to kill him as he approaches.
The short version of the story is not so short. Joseph is spared death but sold into slavery. He is then sold to Potiphar, an Egyptian captain of the guard. God blesses Joseph. Potiphar’s wife likes how handsome Joseph is and tries to lure him. Joseph flees and she blames him anyways. Joseph ends up in prison. He ends of telling two of Pharaoh’s servants the meanings to their dreams. The one who is reinstated forgets him. Finally, after a life of toil and servitude Joseph is standing face to face with Pharaoh who asks him to tell him the meaning to his dreams. Joseph does, and Pharaoh makes Joseph the second most powerful person in Egypt.
What?! That is crazy!
As a result, Egypt is prepared for seven years of terrible famine. The surrounding countries turn to Egypt for aide.
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. (Genesis 42:6 NIV)
Joseph’s heart towards God enables him to forgive his brothers and the wrong they dealt him.
“I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. (Genesis 45:2-5 NIV)
The perspective Joseph has shows God provision even in the worst of circumstances.
A few lessons to consider from Joseph:
- – keep your dreams in your heart
- – there is wisdom in timing
- – Things do not always go to plan (Choice/circumstances)
- – living righteously does not mean bad things won’t happen
- – Serve always as unto God
- – keep a positive attitude / do not be bitter
- – Do not give up in the “middle of the story”
- – learn from your circumstances
- – the greater path is not easy
- – lead with honor/serve with diligence
- – forgive
- – God keeps his promise
Let’s be people who live the dynamic story with God and do not give up.