The Story of Joseph


During biblical times in the land of Canaan, a boy named Joseph lived with his loving father, Jacob, and his eleven brothers. Joseph was unique; he could interpret dreams and had dreams of his own that predicted his rise to power. These predictions and extreme favoritism shown to him by Jacob, Joseph’s father, created enmity between Joseph and his siblings. They fabricated a story of his death to tell their father and then sold him to traders going to Egypt.

Joseph was taken to Egypt as a slave, where he was bought by Potipar, a high-ranking official in Pharaoh’s court. With his genuine commitment to God, Joseph remained humble and diligent in his work. His hard work and trustworthiness didn’t go unnoticed, and Potiphar assigned him the task of managing his house and lands. Joseph's excellent management skills combined with God’s blessing, brought prosperity to Potipar’s house.

However, Joseph's time in Egypt wasn't smooth. Potipar's wife falsely accused him, and despite his innocence, he was imprisoned. This painful suffering could have broken a weaker man, but Joseph's faith in God remained strong. Even in prison, Joseph became known for his wisdom, humility, evident character, and extraordinary talent for interpreting dreams.

The prison where Joseph found himself was not a place of rehabilitation but harsh punishment. The conditions were cold and squalid. Chained alongside ruthless criminals, far from his homeland and family, he was put in a situation that could have easily induced despair.

Egyptian prison

It would not have been unusual for Joseph to waver in his faith through this torment. The silence of God might have haunted him. His dreams of leadership seemed inconceivable. Facing the harsh reality of his situation, he might have felt forgotten and questioned if God had abandoned him to this cruel fate.

However, these were the moments that genuinely tested Joseph's faith. The trials hardened his character and refined his faith like gold through fire. Where he could have succumbed to bitterness and desolation, he chose to serve others, interpreting the dreams of his fellow inmates and showing his unwavering belief and trust in God.

Although there were undoubtedly moments of human weakness, Joseph never lost sight of his faith. When Pharaoh's officers had dreams that troubled them, Joseph didn't credit his skill or any other god but claimed, "Do not interpretations belong to God?"

joseph in prison

Joseph harnessed his pain in his darkest hour to strengthen his commitment to God and his faith. He exemplified the biblical principle that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning," this blind faith, challenge after challenge, bore its fruits when he was finally trusted with the power to save Egypt and his people from a vast famine.

 Joseph's story encourages us not to lose faith even when everything seems to forsake us, for that's when God is working behind the scenes for a greater purpose.

One day, Pharaoh's cup-bearer and baker, who were also imprisoned, had dreams that they couldn't understand. Joseph interpreted their dreams accurately through divine inspiration, and the news of his ability reached the Pharaoh when none of his wise men could interpret his disturbing dreams

Pharaoh summoned Joseph. With God’s guidance, Joseph explained that the dreams predicted seven years of abundance followed by seven years of extreme famine. Astounded by his wisdom, Pharaoh promoted Joseph to chief administrator, only second to him in power, and placed him in charge of Egypt's preparations for the impending famine.

Joseph as ruler with brothers

When the famine hit, Egypt had excess while other lands, including Canaan, were hit severely. Unaware of Joseph's status in Egypt, his brothers, desperate for food due to famine, traveled to Egypt. They bowed before Joseph, unknowingly fulfilling the dream Joseph had had many years earlier.

Disguised as an Egyptian, Joseph tested them and confirmed their repentance for their past deeds. He revealed himself to his shocked brothers and assured them of his forgiveness, showing them the same grace that Jesus would show the world thousands of years later. Through divine providence, Joseph could have his family move to Egypt and provide them with care and protection.

In this grand saga of humility, integrity, faith, and, most intriguingly, forgiveness, Joseph experienced the lows of betrayal, slavery, and imprisonment. Still, by staying committed to God and the principles of righteousness, he became the governor of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. His sacrifices and strategic management during the seven abundant years saved Egypt and other lands from starvation during the seven years of famine.

Joseph as ruler

Joseph's story teaches incredible life lessons underpinned by Biblical principles. Joseph exemplifies the beauty of forgiveness, the power of unwavering faith in God, and the ultimate truth that good will prevail over evil.

These are the principles Jesus Christ teaches - forgiveness, trust, and the pursuit of good. Although Joseph's life was far from easy, he showed great courage and dedication to God's will, which shaped him into a man of character and a savior during a time of tremendous need.

Joseph's story reminds us of Jesus, in His essence, a savior who selflessly loves, forgives, and saves. By sticking to these cornerstone principles, we could relate to, apply, and reach our promised victories, no matter how distant they may seem.

 Like Joseph's, the trials and tribulations of our lives may also be a divine path to a greater purpose. Joseph's commitment to the Biblical principles and his reliance on God, not merely his dreams, led him to save a nation and leave an impact on many generations to come.  

Are you now going through a tough time in your life?  Follow Joseph’s example and keep hanging on to God.  The best part of your life is still ahead of you.

You can read the whole story beginning in Genesis 37.

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