One cannot help but be reminded of the Christ when he thinks of Joseph. Joseph’s brethren sought to do him harm, but God’s divine providence overruled their envy. We see God’s providence overruling the evil intentions of the unbelieving Jews who sought to undermine the Master’s plan. Joseph was hated because of his dreams, and the Lord was hated because he claimed to be God’s Son and King. Joseph was tempted and remained pure, and Jesus was tempted and did not sin. Joseph was willing to forgive his brethren, and Jesus is willing to forgive those who sin against Him.
Both Joseph and Christ found the way of escape when faced with temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Every trial endured for the cause of Christ will increase one’s faith and make him stronger. Let us learn some things from Joseph about trusting in God.
Joseph was despised by his brethren but loved by his father. Upon sensing the partiality of Jacob to Joseph, the brothers hated Joseph and “could not speak peaceably unto him” (Genesis 37:4). Jacob, however, “loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors” (verse 3).
Christ “came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not” (John 1:11). Even those of his hometown of Nazareth would not accept him causing Christ to say, “No prophet is acceptable in his own country” (Luke 4:24).
Those both within and without the Lord’s church may persecute children of God today who stand firm for the truth. It may be that even their own physical family turns against them. But what a consolation to know that we are loved by the Heavenly Father for doing His will (Matthew 5:10)!
Joseph was sold as a slave, but in reality he was a prosperous man. “And there passed by Midianites, merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt” (Gen. 37:28). The brothers of Joseph did not care what happened to him, but the Heavenly Father did. They must have thought that Joseph would be forced to serve the remainder of his life as a humble and poor slave of men.
The Heavenly Father proves to all once again that the man who does His will always prospers. “And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian” (Gen. 39:2). One lesson that all must learn is that it does not matter the value that the world places upon us. It does indeed matter, however, the value that Christ places upon us. One will be a prosperous man in the sight of God if he does His will (Matt. 7:21).
Joseph was falsely accused, but God did not forsake him. Many today believe that when things go wrong in their lives it means that God is no longer with them. But to the faithful God has promised that He “will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When things go wrong in this world it may very well be because one has chosen to do the honorable and right thing (2 Timothy 3:12; John 3:19-20). The pure in heart will not only see God (Matt. 5:8), but they will suffer for His sake.
If one’s heart is hot with a zeal for God and His truths, men (and women) will falsely charge you. Joseph had found favor in Potiphar’s eyes, but the devil was determined to bring ruin to Joseph. Mrs. Potiphar makes her move and says to Joseph, “Lie with me. But he refused, and said . . . how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that he went into the house to do his work; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us: he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: and it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled, and got him out” (Gen. 39:7-15).
Joseph, even though he was cast unjustly into prison (Gen. 39:20), was rewarded for his faithful convictions as “Jehovah was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Gen. 39:21). As Christians, let us remember, “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).
May we never fail to trust in our Lord and our God!
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