(Read Genesis 37-42)
When Joseph was relating his dream to his brothers little did he know that his life was about to take a dramatic turn. His brothers were burning with jealousy and anger and were plotting a way to destroy him.
Soon after Joseph’s brothers put him in the bottom of a dry well, intending on leaving him there until he died. This was just the beginning of Joseph’s difficulties. In the years that followed Joseph’s troubles continued. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and wrongly put in jail. To top it all off, while in prison, he correctly interpreted a dream for the baker, but the baker initially forgot about Joseph when his job was restored with the king.
Joseph couldn’t get a break. He went from receiving a prophetic dream from God to becoming a prisoner in a foreign country. Yet in the midst of all this trouble, Joseph remained faithful. He learned that God could bring good out of all his trials. Through years of rejection and betrayal God brought good out of all the disappointments that Joseph faced.
When Joseph was at his lowest, God began to fulfill his vision for Joseph. Like many other situations throughout Scripture, Joseph experienced the death of a vision. That seems to be the pattern through out Scripture. Before a vision is fulfilled, there must be the death of a vision. Through all his trouble Joseph remained faithful. He knew God would somehow fulfill his dream.
After Joseph was elevated to Governor over all of Egypt he continued to trust God’s faithfulness. When he revealed himself to his brothers Joseph’s love for God was shown by his treatment of his brothers. Instead of anger and bitterness, he displayed forgiveness, love and mercy.
How could Joseph show such love and mercy to those who wanted to kill him? It’s because Joseph learned four important lessons.
1. In the beginning of his journey he made the decision to trust God rather than dwell on the past. The lesson for us is leave your hurt at Jesus feet and look for God to show you what’s next.
2. He had learned that in all his circumstances, God was in control, regardless of what happened to him. He had a deep hope that was rooted in his assurance that God loved him and knew what was best. The lesson for us is to trust God in the midst of our problem rather than worry.
3. He learned that forgiveness is a greater tool than revenge. He could have used his power to severely punish his brothers, but instead he chose to use his power to forgive and serve them. The lesson for us is to have a greater desire to love and serve than to get even and make them pay.
4. Joseph learned that during the death of a vision God is at work preparing us for the fulfillment of the vision. The lesson for us is if God has given you a dream or vision, savor the moments while you are waiting, because this is time when God is doing his greatest work in building your character.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. “ (Romans 8:28 NLT)