Good out of bad

The Bible tells the story of a young man named Joseph who goes through terrible times. But, God had a plan to bring something good out of something bad. Genesis 37- 48

Joseph Act I

Joseph is the younger brother and Dad’s favorite son. So, his older brothers hate him. To make matters worse, he’s a narc and tells on them when they’re not doing their jobs. And, he has dreams about being in a position of authority over them. It’s ok to have these dreams, but he tells his brothers.

So, his brothers decide to kill him. But, they realize that it would better if they just sell him as a slave. They take his clothes, tear them up, dip them in blood and let their Dad believe that an animal ate him.

You think your family has problems.

Joseph Act II

Joseph is a slave, but his master finds him trustworthy and useful and puts him in charge of his household. But, it turns out that his master isn’t the only one who has noticed him. The master’s wife has got it bad for Joseph. She wants to have sex with him. He tells her no, but she apparently doesn’t know that “No means No!”.

Eventually, this sex crazed lady realizes she’s not going to get what she wants so she decides to ruin his life by claiming that he tried to rape her. This lands him in jail. At least he didn’t get executed. (Maybe his master knows his wife is lying? Who knows.)

Joseph Act IIb

Joseph is in prison, but the jailer realizes that this kid has skills and he gives him responsibilities that allow him to interact with other prisoners. One day he runs into a couple of guys who used to be close to the Pharaoh. Let’s call them Bob and Phil. They had some weird dreams. Joseph tells them what the dreams mean. Bob is going to be executed. Phil is going to be set free and continue working for Pharaoh.

Both dreams come true and Joseph hopes that Phil will help get Joseph out of jail…That doesn’t happen.

Joseph Act III

Pharaoh has some weird dreams and no one knows what they mean. Phil suddenly realizes that he’s been a jerk. He tells the Pharaoh that he knows a guy that can figure the dreams out.

Pharaoh calls Joseph, Joseph interprets the dream and Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of everything in Egypt. One step from jail to the top job in Egypt, wow!

What about Joseph’s family?

The Pharaoh’s dream has to do with an upcoming multi-year famine. Joseph helps Egypt to prepare, so they are ready. Everyone knows that Egypt has food, including Joseph’s brothers. They came looking for food.

Initially the brothers don’t recognize Joseph. Why should they? At best he’s a slave somewhere, at worst he’s dead. He’s definitely not going to be the guy in charge.

Eventually they realize that this terrifying guy is actually their brother, Joseph. Now they are really scared because he has the power to kill them. This is when Joseph puts the pieces of the puzzle together and says, “You meant this for evil, but God meant it for good.” His family has their needs met and an entire region is able to navigate through the famine.

I’m the persecuted one

The story teaches us that God works through every situation to bring His best plans. But, be careful. Sometimes you are going through a bad situation because you are a jerk and need to change. Don’t be quick to cast yourself in the role of “poor persecuted Joseph”. Maybe you are one of the brothers and you need your pride broken. Maybe you are Pharaoh and have to trust someone you barely know. Or, perhaps you are Phil and should show gratitude to people who’ve helped you in the past.

Where are you?

You have no idea where you are in your story. Are you in the dreaming part of the story? Are you having dreams of doing big things? Remember, you may have some big challenges ahead. Maybe you are feeling persecuted and you can’t see how things are going to work out. Or, maybe you have put your hopes in someone and you just know they’re going to put a good word in for you. They know the right people and that’s going to make the difference in your life. That may be true, but you may still may have years to wait.

Or, maybe you are sitting at the top and things have worked out well. If so, encourage your brothers. Forgive the people who have been jerks to you along the way.

One response to “Good out of bad”

  1. Great piece. I never considered seeing myself in any one of the several characters in this story. That approach really brings some perspective.

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