Sold! Sold into slavery by your very family! How could have this happened? What did he do that would make them sell their own brother? The tears begin to flow as he remembers his father and little brother back at home, his home, or what was his home. Now he was walking on what seemed to be an endless journey across sand. Way would the Lord allow this to happen?
Our story is one many may know, but there may be some things in this story you may never have heard of, the story of Joseph…
Joseph was born into a big family, his father had four wives, one of his wives Rachel was the one his father really loved. Jacob, Joseph’s father, prayed that Rachel would be able to have children, God heard and answered his prayer and Rachel gave birth to a son whom they called Joseph. Rachel went on to have one other son, Benjamin, but shortly after the birth of her second son Rachel died.
Joseph had 10 older brothers, which came from Jacob’s other wives. Now Jacob favored Joseph, because he was Rachel’s eldest son, this caused Joseph’s older brothers to become jealous. Jacob didn’t let Joseph go into the fields with his brother, he took special care in training Joseph at home. As the years went on and Joseph became older he started having dreams. He made the mistake and told his brothers the dreams, the dreams made it sound as if Joseph was going to rule over them someday. This made the brothers even more angry.
The brothers decided to sell Joseph as a slave, and on the way to Egypt (that being the place to which Joseph would go for slavery), Joseph decided to lean upon God and let Him lead his life. After all, the Lord was the only One whom he could lean on, and the only One who understood why this had happened to him.
Joseph was sold to Potiphar, a captain in the Pharaoh’s army. Joseph was eventually put in charge of Potiphar’s whole house, but someone else who was also watching Joseph. Potiphar’s wife watched Joseph and liked how he looked, he being a sturdy, handsome young man, Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph to do something in which the commandments forbade. Joseph was true to God in this trying test, and because of it Potiphar’s wife turned it all around, and as a result, Joseph was sent to prison.
Once again Joseph relied on God, for only God understood why he would be treated this way. When he was in prison he meet 2 people; the butler and the baker of the Pharaoh. These two both had dreams, Joseph was able to interpret these dreams (with God’s help) and was able to tell these two men the meaning of their dreams. The butler was set free in 3 days, and the baker was hanged, just like Joseph interpreted.
(If you would like to read the full account of Joseph’s life, go to the Bible, you can find it in the first book of Genesis starting with chapter 37.)
Joseph asked the butler before he was released to remember him when he went in before Pharaoh but the butler forgot about Joseph in the prison, and he spent another 2 years there. Until, the Pharaoh had a strange dream, then the butler remembered how Joseph interpreted his dream in prison, he quickly told the Pharaoh about Joseph, and the Pharaoh quickly sent for Joseph. Joseph, once again, with God’s help, interpreted the dream for Pharaoh, telling him that there would be 7 years of plenty, and 7 years of famine. Pharaoh realized that Joseph was a man of God and put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
Not only was Joseph able to save Egypt from famine but he was able save his family from it as well. His brothers had come to Egypt to see if they could buy grain, Joseph immediately recognized his brothers, but his brothers did not recognize Joseph. Joseph looked different from what they would remember, when he was sold into slavery he was only 17 years old, but now he was 30 years old, and not only that he was governor of all of Egypt. They bowed down before Joseph, just like Joseph dreamed about when he was still at home. Joseph had long since forgiven his brothers for the wrong that they had committed to him, but he wanted to be sure that they had changed before he would reveal who he really was. Joseph accused them of being spies and sent one of the brothers to prison, the other brothers had to bring back Benjamin to prove that they were not spies.
The brothers, when they had sold Joseph into slavery had told their father that Joseph was killed by a wild animal, so the father thought that Joseph was dead. Because Joseph was “dead” the father favored Benjamin. The brothers quickly told their father about there visit to Egypt, but Jacob did not want Benjamin to go to Egypt with his brothers. The point finally came when they ran out of grain, so Jacob let Benjamin go to Egypt. Well when they got back to Egypt Joseph put them to the test to see how they would treat Benjamin, they quickly showed that their heart was changed, they had long been sorry for the wrong that they had done to Joseph. When Joseph realized this, he quickly revealed to them who he really was.
The brothers were immediately reunited and quickly went back to Egypt to get there aged father, and it was a sweet reunion between father and son.
There are many similarities in the story of Joseph and that of the life of Jesus. Joseph was sold for 30 pieces of silver, so was Jesus. Joseph showed amazing meekness and humility in all the things he went through, these are the characteristics of Jesus when He was faced with the cross. The list goes on and on.
Through this story we can learn a lot of things. One of the main ones that I want to point out is this, only God understands the plans He has for our lives. Only He can tell how it will all end. Sometimes we might question God about why He would allow us to go through this or that, but when we stop and think about it, and remember the story of Joseph, you will be able to remember how He led in his life. You may never know why God is putting you through this experience. After all, only He understands.
I want to trust God with my life don’t you?