Our text today introduces us to Jacob's growing family. They are the great-grandchildren of Abraham and beginnings of what will be the Israelite/Jewish people. 12 brothers, now that sounds like a home without any fighting, pride or ego-trips!
Joseph is child #11. He is treated with special care by his father. He is a dreamer but not like other boys...his dreams seem to have a spiritual meaning. As he shares his dreams with his family he begins to make enemies of his elder brothers. They become jealous and seek the first opportunity to get rid of the young dreamer that is the apple of their father's eye. They sell him into slavery into the hands of their great uncle's growing family (The Ishmaelite's, descendants of Abraham's 1st son Ishmael). He is brought to Egypt where he serves as a slave. He does his work so dutifully and skillfully that he rises to the highest position possible within his master's (Potiphar) home.
You and I might have given up when thrown in the hole or sold into slavery but Joseph did not. Read Ephesians 6:5-8 to see a Biblical Command on how to act in this exact spot.
Can you and I learn to trust God even when circumstances seem difficult or even bleak? When life gives you a lemon, do you make a sour face or do you grab some water and sugar and make some refreshing lemonade?
Joseph's good fortune at the top of the slave list doesn't last. His master's wife prefers him to her husband and tries some real in-appropriate actions with him. Joseph doesn't fall for it but she makes her husband believe that he did. Potiphar sends Joseph off to prison. The only thing more sour than one lemon is two. What will he do? He follows his same pattern. He rises to position within prison as he waits out the years for a crime he did not commit. Wow!
I hope all your days are good...but in the off chance that you have a bad day or tough situation this week, I hope the story of Joseph will inspire you to trust God in the good and in the bad. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Our Savior, Jesus, also endured many difficult days while journeying to the Cross to serve as a substitute for us and our sinfulness. He did not deserve any of it yet he did so because God had plans that included these trials.