Joseph in the Bible
The Bible Story of Joseph, from the Book of Genesis, is one of heroic redemption and forgiveness. Joseph was the most loved son of his father, Israel, given the famous robe of many colors. When Joseph reported having dreams of his brothers, and even the stars and moon, bowing before him, their jealousy of Joseph grew into action. The brothers sold him into slavery to a traveling caravan of Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard.
In Egypt, the Lord's presence with Joseph enables him to find favor with Potiphar and the keeper of the prison. With God's help, Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners, predicting that one of them will be reinstated but the other put to death. Joseph then interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh, which anticipate seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh recognizes Joseph's God-given ability and prompts his promotion to the chief administrator of Egypt.
Shortage of food in Canaan forces Jacob to send his sons to buy grains from the Egyptians. Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother remains at home as Jacob fears losing him, as he did Joseph. When Joseph finally encounters his brothers again, he deliberately conceals his identity. He accuses them of being spies and tells them to return with Benjamin or he will not sell them grain. The ongoing famine forces Jacob to reluctantly send his sons back to Egypt with Benjamin, and they are unexpectedly invited to dine at Joseph's house. Joseph then tests the character of his brothers by placing a silver cup in the sack of Benjamin and falsely accusing him of theft. When Judah offers to stay in place of Benjamin, Joseph knows that his character has changed and reveals that he is their brother. Joseph explains they need not feel guilty for betraying him as it was God's plan for him to be in Egypt to preserve his family. He told them to bring their father and his entire household into Egypt to live in the province of Goshen because there were five more years of famine left. Joseph supplied them with Egyptian transport wagons, new garments, silver, and twenty additional donkeys carrying provisions for the journey. Jacob is then joyously reunited with his son Joseph.
Meaning of Joseph's Bible Story
The life of Joseph gives a testament of the sovereignty and grace of God for those who live faithfully and righteously. Despite being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph remained faithful and trusted in God to deliver him from tribulation. Additionally, this story shows how God's plan may not be obvious to our limited perspective but indeed "all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Let us be inspired by the Bible story of Joseph to have faith through our trials, knowing that God will deliver us in the glory of His justice.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." ~ Romans 8:18
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
Photo credit: SparrowStock