Thank you for joining us today for the conclusion of... Joesph's life
Once Joseph became a slave for Potipher he was originally in a good place. He was respected and treated well. That is, until Potipher's wife decided she wanted a little "lovin" from Joseph. Joesph was apparently a very good looking man and Mrs. Potipher had a major a case of lust and no boundaries. Joesph was a man of honor and integrity with boundaries. He continually rebuffed her advances, however, the last time she approached him she was able to grasp his garment and rip it as he fled from her. She then became angry at his refusal and turned the tables on him and told her husband he tried "to make sport" of her and showed him the ripped garment. Potipher chose to believe his wife and threw Joseph in jail, even though Joesph was well trusted and respected, even as a slave. Again, I have to wonder did he stick up for himself? Did he even try to defend himself or did he simply cling to hope and know God had a purpose and a plan?
Once in jail we know that scripture tells us the Lord was with him, so I have believe that is the hope that he felt. He knew the Lord would continually take care of him, no matter what the outwards circumstances were. While he was in jail he found favor with the guards and chief jailer. He ends up making friends with Pharaoh's chief cup bearer and chief baker (they had offended Pharaoh and were put into jail). Joseph ends up interpreting their dreams and tells them to please remember him when they are back in Pharaoh's graces. It is the first time that Joseph explains his situation and defends himself. And there does not seem to be bitterness or "entitlement" coming from his heart. I only hear his hope!
Just as the chief cup bearer and chief baker promised they did not forget Joesph. However, it didn't happen quickly, it took two years. I am not sure that I would still cling to hope as Joseph was....two years is a long time! Well, the day finally came as Pharaoh was perplexed by his dreams and no one was able to interpret them or help him, so the chief cup bearer told him how Joesph had interpreted his dream while he was in jail after he offended Pharaoh. Joseph was brought before Pharaoh and he told him of his dream. Joseph was able to interpret it and this allowed Pharaoh to make a plan with Josephs help, to prepare for the years of famine that were to come. He knew Joseph was a man of wisdom, integrity, and a that God had favor on him.
Pharaoh ends up making Joseph in charge of all of Egypt, saying no one will be higher than he, except Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh gave Joseph his signet ring, clothed him and gave him jewelry. He even gave him a Egyptian name and a wife!
Fast forward: the famine does come and low and behold Joesph's brothers come looking for food. Joseph's dream finally comes true after spending thirteen years in slavery and the long purposeful road he was on to become a high ruler, next to Pharaoh. He ultimately brings his entire family to live near him and he forgives his brothers. Pharaoh blesses his family with more than they could imagine. Joesph realizes God's will and purpose in everything he went through. He tells his brothers (45:5) And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here: for God sent me before you to preserve your life. Seeing that verse convicts my heart; I am not sure I would be willing to have the same attitude, oh, how I pray I do though! Joesph never once doubted God. He never whined and complained. He trusted. He waited. He always clung to hope even when it seemed hopeless.
My hearts desire is to have that kind of solid hope. I also want the patience that Joseph had! I do believe and I do have faith and hope, however, I know my flesh is sometimes weak, so I must fill my mind and heart with God's word and focus on my relationship with Him. We must never lose hope!
One day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always hope!