EVERYBODY LIKES JOSEPH! Joseph is probably one of the most written about characters in the bible. There is a lot to write about Joseph and his life in the book of Genesis. Many have written about him being a “type” of Jesus Christ. Others have written about all his character traits that we should emulate in our own lives. You could fill the shelves in a large bookcase with all the books written about him and bible commentaries are filled with articles on his life. And I will not endeavor to add to all that has been written or the videos or CD’s or DVD’s that have been produced on his life. I am sure all those things have been produced much better than I ever could. But I would encourage you to read from Genesis 35:22 to Genesis 50:26 to really see the biblical account of the life of Joseph.
Joseph is a person whose faith in God carried him through life. As a young man God revealed to him through his dreams (Genesis 37:5,9) that God had something special in store for him. This knowledge and his faith in God carried him through ridicule, abuse, slavery, imprisonment, blessings, and a rise to power in Egypt. Joseph, because of his faith in God could see God’s hand at work in all of life’s events whether people considered them good or bad. Joseph said to his brothers as they feared for their lives in Egypt, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). When one’s faith in God is so strong as to believe that everything in life that happens to us or through us is because God is ultimately in control of all events in our life then God’s plan for our life becomes clearer and more acceptable to us. So much so that even the seemingly disastrous events of life are seen as under God’s control.
We do not have to understand everything in life in order to have faith in God. Joseph, in the beginning of his troubles, was certainly a young man who did not have the clarity of why so many seemingly bad things were happening to him. Yet he maintained his faith in God, his integrity in tempting situations, his positive attitude, his servant spirit, and his willingness to forgive those who wronged him. Joseph ended his life with his faith in God still intact and his expectation that God would fulfill all His promises. “Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.’ So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten” (Genesis 50:24-26 NIV). And God rewarded his faith and eventually brought to pass what he expected. I trust his life and example will be an encouragement, example and challenge to each of us.