I’ve been re-reading the story of Joseph and I’ve found in him such an amazing character. I would think he’s definitely on the top 5 of people who deserve to be bitter about how he was treated. He was sold into slavery – come on – it doesn’t get much worse than that. After become a slave, he became a prisoner…so on and so forth the story goes. Here’s the point, when he finally get audience with his brothers later in life, he doesn’t make them pay for what they’ve done. It would seem he has every right to harm him, but the truth is, he tells them he’s been placed in this position so that he could take care of them during the famine. Isn’t that incredible? That where the phrase, “what you meant for evil, the Lord used for good” comes from. Not only did Joseph not harm his brothers, but he went to bat with the pharaoh so that he could move his whole family to Egypt with him and take care of them during the famine.
One other thing – I’ve heard too many pastors dismiss the work that lay people do outside of the church. Even calling it secondary to their service within the church. Try telling Joseph that. I meet believers all of the time who believe they’re in their work place with purpose, and the calling to be in that job, is just as strong and valid as the calling into full-time ministry, the call into missions, the call to serve on the praise team. I know that’s tough to swallow, but it’s hard to minister to the lost when you spend all of your time at the work house. The Egyptians couldn’t care less for shepherds, but they took in Israel and all of his sons because of Joseph’s role as a leader in Egypt. Amazing story!