What practical key life learnings can we glean from the life of Joseph?
Context (Genesis 30-50): Joseph was the 11th of 12th sons of Jacob. He was Jacob’s favored son and he knew it. He boasted of this to his 10 older brothers and out of jealousy they sold him to a band of desert slave traders who took him to Egypt and sold him to a wealthy businessman named Potiphar.
God continually blessed Joseph during this time but it was filled with disappointments as well. Joseph became the most trusted slave of Potiphar and even resisted Potiphar’s wife sexual advances. For this he was throne in prison.
Again he was favored by God and by the prison manager and was put in charge of all the prisoners. He even interpreted dreams for two servants of Pharaoh who were in prison. But he was forgotten when his interpretations came true.
Eventually Joseph was called to interpret Pharaoh’s dream about a coming famine and based upon his interpretation he was elevated to second in command of all Egypt.
When the famine broke out, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food. Joseph disguised himself at first and spoke harshly to his brothers but gave them the food they wanted. Finally Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them and the whole family comes down to live in Egypt in order to avert starvation.
Key Life Learnings:
- A bad start does not necessarily mean a bad ending. Although Joseph was filled with pride as a young man, God used hardships to humble him in Egypt and Joseph became a man of wisdom, humility and compassion. There is always a second chance for anyone who cries out to God and asks for God to remake them into a man or woman of God.
- God can make good out of evil (Genesis 50:20) – When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food and Joseph revealed that God had made him second in command in all Epypt, he also told them what they had meant for evil, God had made into good. God used Joseph’s slavery in Egypt to put him into a position where he could provide for his family when there was a famine and continue the lineage of God’s people that would eventually lead to Christ.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.