24 October 2013

When Zeal Takes You to Egypt (Joseph's Story, Day 24)

Joseph was a boy of integrity.

He faithfully reported to his father the misconducts of his older brothers--just as faithfully and enthusiastically as he reported the dreams given him of God.

His father unwisely favored him, and his brothers grew jealous, but the favor shown to him was not of his choice.  It did, however, make his integrity in the face of their lack of it harder for his brothers to bear.  Thus, when the almost-youngest brother began dreaming dreams, the older brothers' jealousy knew no bounds.

Perhaps an older, wiser Joseph would have kept these things in his heart.  Perhaps an older, wiser Joseph would have only discussed the dreams with his father before broadcasting them to his older brothers.  Perhaps an older, wiser Joseph would have thought carefully about when and where to put on his expensive coat of many colors.

But the teenage Joseph, innocent in both his integrity and his youth, let all the dreams bubble out, not stopping to think they could possibly make anyone mad at him.

 Neither Joseph nor his father Jacob realized the depth of their jealousy turned hatred.  If they had, maybe one or the other would have thought of a different messenger to make the trip to find out how the older brothers were doing with the sheep.  If they had, perhaps the brothers would not have turned the visit into a chance to sell Joseph as a slave.

A million different thoughts of hurt, anger, and fear must have coursed through Joseph's mind as he traveled, possibly bound, to an unknown land and an unknown future.

Yet somewhere in his grief and turmoil, he must have turned to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, realizing the future is always unknown, but that the same God who directed his family from generation to generation could keep his own young life in His hands.

Joseph worked hard in his master's house.  The same integrity that made him a good son and a help to his father made him invaluable to the Egyptian household he eventually managed.

"And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous 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 that he did to prosper in his hand.  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.  And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field."  Genesis 39:2-5

Joseph was still in slavery, yet because he was faithful to his God, the Lord made it clear to everyone who observed Joseph that a special blessing attended all that he did.  

Thus Joseph's conduct in the land of his captivity reminds all of us today to be faithful in everything we do.  There is a witness in our simple, daily labors, and a purpose that stretches far beyond the here and now, just as there was for Joseph in Egypt. (We'll talk more about that in a couple of days.)

(Click button for series index.)
Grab button for LADDER OF MERCY (Photo by Barbara Frohne


  1. I really enjoy your style of writing! Thanks again for your prayers - I really appreciate them! Have a wonderful day, Lisa :O)

  2. I recently heard someone say that Joseph, as a teen, did not yet have the gift of interpreting dreams -- but his family did! I thought it was an interesting comment :)


Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.