The Story of Joseph – God’s Power of Redemption
The Story of Joseph is a marvelous illustration of God’s power of redemption at work in the lives of ordinary people. Producer James Bruyn reminds us that those who are obedient and faithful, like Joseph, will often see the restorative power of God at work.
Fulfillment of Your Dreams
Where will the path to the fulfillment of your dreams take you? Who will you meet along the way? How will they treat you? How will you see God demonstrate his faithfulness to his promises? What temptations will you encounter? What will you see God’s redeeming power accomplish?
The Lord has promised, that as you continue to trust in the Lord that He will make your paths straight. He hasn’t said that your paths will be easy. But he has promised that wherever your paths may lead, that he will be with you, that he will be a lamp unto your feet.
The Story of Joseph Begins With Family
There they were, his nieces, nephews, in-laws, brothers and father. This was the miracle that Joseph had prayed for ever since he had been sold into slavery. Seeing them all together, was a dream that Joseph hoped for, but put on the shelf many times. The bottom of a well, Potiphar’s house, and an Egyptian prison are places where one buries ones dreams of seeing their family again. For a brief fleeting moment, after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream Joseph may have thought that he would be free to go home again. But once he was appointed as governor, he knew there was no going home.
Then the day came when ten men stood before him. Immediately Joseph recognized them. Was it truly possible that his childhood dreams were coming true? As he listened to their story, Joseph wondered how had God changed their lives over all these years? Were they still artful, fierce and cruel? Surely they deserved to suffer even as he had, so he threw them all into jail for a couple days. As God worked on Joseph’s heart, he knew he had to show them grace but forgiveness would take some time. So he released all but one of them from prison. Feeling that it wasn’t right for his family to pay for the grain they needed, he returned their silver in their sacks, and paid for the grain himself.
Joseph’s wife noticed there was something slightly different about him, after the men left that day. Still there was an impenetrable stone protecting this part of Joseph’s heart that he just wasn’t ready to roll away. While Joseph wondered if he would ever see the rest of his brothers again, his family was stressed and confused over his act of grace and brotherly love on the one hand, the imprisonment of their brother, and his harsh demand that they return with their youngest brother.
Finally lack of food forced his brothers to return. When Joseph received word that these men were back, he was excited and nervous. Would his youngest brother, Benjamin, recognize him? As his brothers tripped over themselves trying to explain how they found their money returned to them, and presented gifts to try and appease him, Joseph smiled at their honesty. As Joseph sat with his brothers enjoying a meal together, he thought back to the last time they had all eaten together as brothers.
Yet Joseph still needed to know, were these men changed? As governor he had a responsibility to the people of Egypt, and wanted to make sure that his brothers had become men of integrity who would not pose a threat to Egypt. So he sent them off, returning their silver and paying for their grain himself and also hiding his cup inside his youngest brother’s bag. Joseph wondered what his brothers would do? Would they sacrifice Benjamin, their youngest brother for their own survival? It didn’t take long for him to find out, as his oldest brother, Judah, explained the pain that would be caused by leaving Benjamin behind and offered to take his place.
As heard these words, Joseph saw first-hand that God’s redeeming power does change lives. At that moment, God rolled the hard stone protecting Joseph’s heart away. Taking Joseph’s tears, God cleansed his wounded heart. That evening, in their bedroom chamber, Joseph’s wife got her first glimpse into this part of Joseph’s heart that had been hidden away over all the years. The next morning Pharaoh was delighted to see the new found joy on Joseph’s face, and thrilled to know that God had reconciled Joseph to his family again.
Joseph’s Path to Fulfillment
The path to the fulfillment of the dreams God had shown Joseph, took him past the laughter of his family, beyond the hatred of his brothers, into a deep well, on an uncomfortable journey in chains to a foreign country, and from privilege to slavery. Along the way Joseph earned an undergraduate degree in household management and fleeing temptation at Potiphar’s house and a graduate degree in leadership, trustworthiness and patience at the local prison. Through this journey Joseph learned that God was never surprised by where he was.
Joseph had many, many opportunities to doubt that God would fulfill his promises. In Egypt Joseph was far from any external Spiritual influence or teachers. Yet Joseph chose to remain faithful to God. Joseph chose righteousness, over cheating Potiphar. Joseph chose obedience to God, over sexual immorality. In prison, even after he was forgotten by the cupbearer, Joseph quietly remained obedient and trusted in God. When given the opportunity to interpret dreams, Joseph was quick to acknowledge God. As governor, as the second most important person in all of Egypt, Joseph had every reason to trust in his own abilities and wisdom, but Joseph continued to peacefully rest in his faith in God. By choosing to live a life of quiet obedience, a life of trust, Joseph enjoyed knowing the Lord’s presence where ever he was.
Joseph Sees God’s Redemption
Because Joseph was obedient to God, and continued to trust God, because Joseph acknowledged God before the cupbearer and before Pharaoh, Joseph had privilege of seeing God actively redeem all things according to God’s good pleasure. Joseph came to see God redeem the harmful actions of his brothers so that God could bless Egypt and the rest of the known world through Joseph during the famine. Joseph had the privilege of seeing God restore a family that was broken by years of treachery, adultery, and incest.
Because of Joseph’s righteousness, Joseph was God’s instrument to provide for Egypt and the surrounding nations so that no one needed to die of starvation during the seven year famine. Because of Joseph’s faithfulness, Joseph saw the fulfillment of God’s promise to his grandfather Abraham that Abraham’s family would become a great nation. For there in Goshen, God would keep the Israelites pure, protecting them from intermarrying with other nations, and providing them with the opportunity to remain strong in their faith.
God is not Surprised at Where you Are
God is not surprised by where you are today. God will not be surprised by where you are tomorrow. Along the path of your life, in each circumstance you find yourself in; continue to listen to God’s voice and be obedient. Keep your eyes focused on Christ when you start doubting that God will fulfill his promises. Remember God remains faithful! God hasn’t stopped fulfilling his promises! In every situation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, choose faithfulness and obedience to God. When you find yourself faced with temptations of any sort – you can choose a righteous response through the grace of God. When you feel like your world is crumbling around you, and when God extrudes you into the place of your dreams don’t trust in your own abilities, but rest in the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, your Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. Watch patiently and rejoice as you see the powerful, redeeming hand of the Lord of heaven and earth accomplish more than you ever imagined or dreamed.
May the Almighty bless you with blessings from the skies above, and blessings from the deep springs below.
James Bruyn is a bi-vocational visionary leader, writer and speaker who enjoys helping individuals integrate their faith in God with their daily life. James leads a ministry to Christians in the marketplace in Calgary, in Calgary, provides leadership coaching, and consults for the rail industry. James produces Marketplace Ministry for our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Contact us if you would like to learn more about how God changes lives.
James is passionate about connecting the rich promises of our loving Heavenly Father that we find in the Bible, with the joys and challenges of living out our faith in the workplace. James writes a weekly devotional at marketplace-ministry.ca/blog
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