Walk 13 – Read Genesis Chapters 37 – 40. The Theme is: Joseph the loved to Joseph the forgotten.
The account of Jacob’s life at this point in history is closely linked with Joseph. The 12 sons of Jacob turned out to be dysfunctional in many ways. Certainly the declaring to all that Joseph was his favorite by giving him a richly ornamented robe did not make matters better. “Giving bad reports” about his brothers and declaring the dreams he had with them bowing down to him didn’t help much either. It may be a surprise to us; but God does know what He is doing; as we shall see.
The robe played a part in adding to the dysfunction and when Joseph was sold into slavery it became the evidence of his “death.”
Judah and Tamar
Would not this story have played a role in the attitude of Jesus toward women and the attitude of oppression that they suffered in society? Tamar is one of four women mentioned specifically in the genealogy of Jesus. The story of the “woman caught in the act of adultery” illustrated that Jesus thought completely about issues and didn’t respond to the surface teaching or the wicked attitudes of people. May we live such lives of grace and truth!
Joseph became the slave of Pharaoh’s Captain of the Guard. At first he was the trusted household servant. He was so blessed by God that he was placed in charge of the entire household. The hand of God in his life was not apparent at all times. God worked in various ways that were not observable at the time. Joseph learned to trust God in all circumstances.
Potiphar’s wife lusted after the handsome young man; and finally falsely accused him of attacking her. This placed Joseph in Potiphar’s prison rather than his household. Again God blessed and promoted Joseph until he ran the prison.
Cupbearer and Baker
Two of Pharaoh’s servants were imprisoned with Joseph and the cupbearer of Pharaoh discovered that Joseph could hear God interpret dreams. The baker also discovered that Joseph could accurately hear from God; but the cupbearer witnessed the baker’s execution as proof of Joseph’s gift. Joseph asked the cupbearer to use his influence to get him out of prison. The cupbearer forgot about Joseph for two more years.
God is sovereign. God has a plan. It is clear to us as we read the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph that God was working out the redemption narrative and preparing the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. But imagine what it felt like for the participants as the stories unfolded in real time in their lives. God is always faithful. He will always see that His plan and purpose comes to fruition. Joseph was eventually able to say to his brothers that although they meant to harm him; God’s plan was for the salvation of many lives. Part of that attitude was forged by the 13 years in slavery.