For the past couple of weeks I have been teaching my Sunday school children about the life of Joseph, and as we delve into his life, I am amazed at how faithful and strong he was in the Lord. Can you imagine being rejected and betrayed by men who were your own flesh and blood? How about being fired by your boss, whom you faithfully served for years, for something you did not do? It’s difficult to comprehend how someone who faced so many struggles in his life, as Joseph did, could remain so faithful and humble. Amidst trials and tribulation the Bible never mentions Joseph as a man who complained or griped against God, rather, it shows us that in whatever he did the Lord was with him.
What amazes me the most about Joseph’s life, is that in the end when he had all the authority and power to get revenge against his brothers, he chose to forgive and love them. He chose to see the good that God did rather than the evil that his brothers intended for him.
Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
Joseph repeats twice that God sent him to use him preserve the land, and ultimately to bring God the glory. Joseph’s reaction to his brothers is a clear picture of Christ’s reaction to us when we hurt and betrayed Him. Jesus Christ did not treat us according to our transgressions (sins) but forgave us and bore the burden of our sins upon Himself.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him
Psalm 103: 10-11
Joseph could have easily rejected his brothers and sent them away with no food. He could have easily made them work for food rather than giving it to them. He could have even put them to death for the wrong they did him, but his commitment to God allowed him to forgive as Christ did. Joseph was in tune with God’s heart and his humility drove him to show favor on his brothers. Similarly, we too should remain focused on Christ in every stage of life, to see how He can use us for His glory. God can use you in every situation, even when it seems impossible, as long as you place your faith and trust in Him. Joseph never took His eyes off his Father, and because of that, God was able to use him in a powerful way. God placed Joseph in a position to where he was able to show not only Pharaoh, but all of Egypt, the power and glory of the One true King. His life is an encouragement for us to pray daily and seek out God’s wisdom through every period of our lives, so that His name can be praised in everything that we do!