Focal Passages: Genesis 37:5-8, 26-28; 50:15-21
Many of you will remember the famous line from the Smothers Brothers, “Mom always did like you best!” Joseph’s brothers resented their father’s clear favoritism of their baby brother, and became more indignant as he explained his dream about reigning over his brothers. Consequently, they sold him into slavery and faked his death. Things seemed to improve for Joseph after he was sold to Potiphar and put in charge of all that his master possessed. However, His righteousness and faithfulness to his master landed him in jail, falsely accused of raping his master’s wife because he would not have an illicit relationship with her. Joseph then oversaw all the other prisoners and interpreted the chief cupbearer’s dream only to be forgotten by him when he was released.
What do you do when life takes you where you don’t want to go, and the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be a train? Surely Joseph faced unbelievable discouragement as he sat falsely accused in prison for two years, but the Lord was with him (Genesis 39:21, 23). We all have a tendency to become near-sighted in the midst of adversity and forget about the big picture. Do we really believe that God is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) even when our circumstances are terrible? Moses didn’t record what Joseph was thinking during his prison years, but he does reveal the fulfillment of God’s purpose for Joseph. Joseph forgave his brothers and realized that God had used their evil deeds to preserve the lives of countless people (Genesis 50:20). Are you in a troubling situation with an unpredictable outcome? Will you look for the big picture of God’s glory when the current snapshot tempts you to be anxious about everything? The same God who has delivered us from the darkness of sin and death through the sacrifice of His Son will deliver us from our temporary tribulation. Remember, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.