There Is Always A Story Behind The Story
Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob, and because Jacob favored him, his brothers hated him. One day while they were out in the fields, his brothers took hold of him and sold him to Ishmaelites passing through on the trade route. Then they killed an animal and dipped Joseph's coat in its blood, and took the coat back to their father Jacob, who was deceived into thinking his son had been cruelly killed by animals. Think of the terrible injustice done to Jacob's beloved son Joseph. His brothers had disposed of him out of their hatred of him. They sold him as a slave, utterly forsaken. When the Ishmaelites reached Egypt, they sold Joseph to Pharaoh's captain of the guard, the highest man in his administration. "Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there." Genesis 39:1 Imagine if you can, finding yourself sold as a slave by your own flesh and blood. Would Joseph's heart be able to bear it? Would he be consumed with bitterness? No, even in this terrible injustice his faith sustained him, and the Lord honored Joseph's faithfulness. Big time! vs 2-3: "The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man, and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand." Attitude is everything. Don't just read the words, put yourself in his place. We know the rest of the story, but Joseph didn't. He wasn't bitter against God for not intervening and delivering him from those who had done him such wrong. He maintained his faith and served Potiphar with all his heart, and God was with him. vs 5: "So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field." Well, there's more. It wasn't bad enough that Joseph had to endure the rejection of his family and captivity in a foreign land, no, there was more terrible injustice to come. Potiphar's wife was attracted to Joseph and asked him to sleep with her. vs 7: "And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me.'” Joseph adamantly refused her as she continued day by day trying to seduce him. Then one day as he was trying to leave her presence, she grabbed his garment as he left. Then when her husband came home, she showed him the garment and told him that Joseph had tried to seduce her and that she had screamed and grabbed ahold of his shirt. vs 17-18: "Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, 'The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me, so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.'” So Potiphar was enraged and threw Joseph into prison. Now - if it were you, how would you react? Rejected by family members, sold into slavery, falsely accused and thrown into prison - pretty hard to take. Do you feel that you've been the victim of injustice? If so, has it destroyed your faith? God did not explain to Joseph why these things had happened to him, but in spite of that, Joseph remained faithful. As it turns out, God was to use this whole story to save Joseph's entire family much later on. But Joseph didn't know that. In his rejection and in his humiliation, Joseph remained faithful, he did not allow bitterness to consume him, though he had no idea why God allowed all this calamity to happen to him. Still, his faith did not waver. And so it is with those who belong to the Lord, there is always a story behind the story in everything that happens to God's people. Many cannot keep their faith in the face of injustice and humiliation, but that is what we are called to if we mean to walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ. And we have the PROMISE that God will work it all out to the good for us. "And we know that IN ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 IN ALL THINGS… Nothing happens to the people who walk with the Lord, unless it has been allowed by the Lord. And when he allows injustice or humiliation in our lives, there is always a purpose behind it. ALWAYS. A purpose and a promise - that he will work it out for the good. Pray with me: Father, you see the injustices that have been done to me, you know the rejection I have endured, but I believe your Word that says that you will work it all out for my good, if only I maintain my faithfulness when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I pray for grace, I pray for endurance, and most of all I pray to maintain my faithfulness to YOU when I'm in the midst of troubles that I don't understand. Help me Father, to keep my faith in the dark times, knowing that you WILL work it all together for good. In Jesus’ name I ask.