“But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.” Genesis 39:21a
The jealousy that Joseph’s brothers had towards him because of the favor he had from his father Jacob and also the dreams he shared with them, of how he would have grains, sun, moon, and stars bowing down before him.
After reading through the comments for today’s reading at wendypope.org, I have to say I have learned SO many new things! I have read these stories before, but honestly have never reflected or been through any sort of study on them. I’m loving all the new insights in God’s Word….
Here’s a bunch of nuggets I have gathered from this reading:
– Jealousy (seen by Joseph’s brothers) is so strong and when not repented of right away, leads to many other sins… hatred, lying, even murder. Favoritism on behalf of Jacob probably also affected the brothers and had a role in them becoming so jealous.
– Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph from the cistern that he was thrown into by the brothers, but he tried to rescue him quietly and it didn’t work! When you must stand up for what’s right, don’t try to do it in secret, God won’t bless your efforts. Don’t be ashamed of the truth and of the gospel.
-The brothers wanted to protect themselves from having a guilty conscience, so instead of killing Joseph, they sell him into slavery. How often do we do something “less evil” to make us feel better, when really it’s still just as sinful? We are sinning against God… it is not about just protecting our guilty consciences.
– The story of Judah and Tamar…. She dressed herself differently because she was desperate for a husband (which she had been promised but hadn’t been arranged yet). When Judah saw her and thought she was a prostitute, she agreed to have sex for money (!). And then they each speak so many lies to try and cover up what they each had done. My thoughts went along these lines- How often do we “prostitute ourselves” because we want something so badly that we haven’t been given? We will sell ourselves short of what perfect plans God has for us. And the lies we spread to protect our reputation, when really we are all sinners in need of grace! At least Judah does seem to humble himself and admit his wrong and stop sleeping with her…
– Joseph succeeded in everything he did, because the LORD was with him. Potiphar, his master, then gave him more responsibility and continued to be blessed by Joseph’s service to him. Clinging close the the LORD and being obedient will bring about more responsibility and blessing!
-But… perhaps not the blessings we always want or imagine. Poor Joseph gets thrown into prison for even more lies (Potiphar’s wife said that Joseph tried to sleep with her, when it was she who wanted him to but he refused!). I love how Joseph “rips himself away” from this woman (and loses his colored cloak from his father!) since he knew that sleeping with her was “A great sin against God.” What a picture of being wise and obedient to the LORD!
-And then Joseph remains in the prison and the LORD is with him and shows him his faithful love. I love how God blesses him and is with him in the “pit”… after being thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery, and then thrown into prison unjustly. God doesn’t always rescue us right away from our “prisons”, but He is with us, blesses us, and manifests His love to us. That’s all we need, even in the darkest, scariest, most unfair circumstances.
Something to do:
Keep close to the LORD, through reading and meditating and memorizing his Word… and pray and seek to be obedient to Him. Be patient for God’s timing in the things that I so desparately want NOW (to be out of debt, to move to a cheaper home, to have children!!, to not have to work full time as a nurse, etc)… Don’t manipulate my way through life because I have to have them when I want them! Know that the LORD is with me and loves me. He is all I need!