Recently I purchased some brand new bible software from Logos.com and as a result now I have at my fingertips the ease of studying any subject matter I'd like. So today I wanted to share with you the story of Joseph, as "he" speaks to us about his persecution. This is taken from Willmingtons's Bible Handbook.
Perhaps someday I’ll write my autobiography. I could call it From Political Prisoner to Prime Minister! Actually, God’s Faithfulness in a Foreign Land would be a better title. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve lived in Egypt for some 93 years now. Things certainly have changed since I arrived here in chains as a 17-year-old boy. Of course I wouldn’t have ended up here at all if I hadn’t worn that beautiful coat so much and if I hadn’t foolishly talked about those dreams. But I guess even such childish mistakes can be a part of God’s plans. (37:3–19; 50:20)
The moment I stepped onto Egyptian soil it seemed that God’s faithfulness really clicked in! I could have been desperate and bitter. After all, I was sold into slavery, brought to a foreign land, accused of rape, and thrown into prison. Yet even then my spirits were high. My father’s dying words probably expressed it best. Let’s see, what did he say? “But his bow remained strong, and his arms were strengthened by the Mighty One of Jacob.” (37:27–28; 39:19–23; 49:24)
It was good to visit Canaan again, even on such a sad occasion. My father’s final request was to be buried at Machpelah, along with Grandfather Isaac and Great-Grandfather Abraham. Now that I’m back in Egypt it appears that my 10 guilt-ridden brothers still need some reassurance of my forgiveness. I hope I can say something this morning to set their minds at rest once and for all. (49:29–31; 50:15–21)
Spiritual Lessons from Joseph
• The circumstances of our lives are not as important as the way we respond to them (39).
• Showing others what we have learned from God requires sensitivity as well as courage (37:5–11).
• Sin is always wrong, even in a foreign land where no one knows or cares about us (39:7–9).
• Those who live godly lives will suffer persecution (39:10–20; 2 Tim. 3:12).
• In due time, God will exalt and reward the one who honors him (41:38–44; James 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:5–6).
• God is able to use human sinfulness for his glory (50:20; Ps. 76:10).
“Pharaoh said, ‘Who could do it better than Joseph? For he is a man who is obviously filled with the spirit of God’ ” (41:38).
Willmington, H. L.: Willmington's Bible Handbook. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 1997, S. 36