Posted on Dec 22, 2020 | 2 comments

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’

30 “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

Let’s recap

If you’ve been reading along in scripture … this story encompasses every single emotion that could run rampant within every single family since the beginning of time. Emotions such as joy-despair, love-hate, loyalty-betrayal, so many ups and downs within one single family. So, how is your family? Have you had tragedies? Have you had successes, losses? Have you had loving or hateful family members? Well, my friend…..that’s life! We are seriously some very complicated issue-laden complex human beings! So……what to do?

Well, we can take hope in the families in these scripture stories – especially this one about Joseph and his family.

Let’s take a glance back, Joseph was 17 when he was sold by his brothers. Think on that … 17!!! …. Think of your own 17 year old son, or even when you were 17! Can you imagine being only 17 and your brothers having such low regard for you that they throw you in a pit and then sell you to some heathens going by in a caravan? Eventually the young man was brought to Egypt, where he was sold to Potiphar, one of King Pharaoh’s ministers where he seemingly gained favor in his master’s household. So going from a favored son to a rejected brother to a lowly slave.

Ponder on this...

This engaging and charming young boy had blurted out his precocious dream to his older   brothers and he was rejected; his charismatic charm endeared him to his new master and apparently the master’s wife as she was quite taken with him as well and when he fled from her advances, he was again rejected. Then thrown into prison, yet rising in the prsion ranks only to be rejected again!

But even in prison he was able to endear himself to the warden! He was one intelligent, charismatic and likeable chap, wouldn’t you agree?! Now he is the right-hand man of the warden, and still able to minister with insight and wisdom. Being called up to interpret dreams for various other prisoners led to being ‘remembered‘ years later when the King himself needed an interpretation! So that in and of itself should give us pause to consider our own reactions in times of trouble – never quit … never stop listening … never stop doing what you can do. Why? WHY?

It’s Not About YOU

Because the picture is BIGGER THAN YOU! Stand back outside the situation and view it from a heavenly perspective. That is what is of utmost importance – perspective! When we are in situations that feel bad, that terrifies us, that disgusts us – whatever the situation, whatever the issues – there is always a bigger picture! Think about it – Joseph was a tender 17yr old innocent, precocious young boy who blurted out an important dream that he had experienced which led to extreme jealously in his brothers (probably not the first time – but definitely the last!), thrown in with some unlikeable chaps and ended up in the dankest of prisons after being set up by a beautiful young woman. Wow…could it get any worse? And yet…here the story takes a dramatic turn – and it’s years and years after the initial shock of betrayal!

Joseph has risen from within the darkness, he has somehow maintained the light and hope within his heart, and he has risen to be number >2< in the most powerful nation on earth at that time! And for such a time as this, the Holy One of Israel USED Joseph’s learned experiences to save ALL of Israel! As his brothers travelled to where the food was (at the government coffers) they had no clue that their youngest brother was the Viceroy, second only to the King, was in charge of the distribution at the food bank. But Joseph was not the little boy they threw in the pit. He had gained experience, wisdom and a little thing called ‘timing‘. He kept his tongue when his brothers came knocking on his door and slowly, very slowly, reintroduced himself to them. He had learned when to listen and when to stay silent. He learned how to use the wisdom with understanding!

Joseph had begun life as a favored child, a child who was the star of his father’s eye and his hope of a bright future. Before he could reach adulthood he was delivered to the enemy – and yet that experience that enemy – brought life to all in the land, including his family! So again, it is all about perspective!

HOW DO WE SEE?

For eighty years Joseph ruled Egypt and he finally passed from this life at 110. So for 110 years Joseph and his entire family and all who he came into contact with were touched by him in some way or another. This story exemplifies how we, as ones who also follow the God of Israel, need to ‘see‘ difficulty and misfortune! Joseph did not exact punishment on his brothers once the family was reunited, no in fact, it was quite the opposite reaction!

“But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that G‑d sent me before you… You did not send me here, but G-d”

So throughout all the years of oppression, depression, difficulty and misfortune, the Holy One had ordained every single step of the way, and most importantly – JOSEPH REALIZED IT! Joseph truly had the art of forget and forgive down to a science! Not only did he forgive his family, he repayed their sins against him with love, mercy and gifts!

So here we are … in this weird and struggling year of 2020 with so much chaos swirling around our heads. People out of jobs, distanced from their loved ones, hiding behind face masks and who knows what else … and yet … it is STILL all about perspective! This year will be remembered for many things – most of those memories will linger for many years. However, we, as a people, have learned to do without, to gather those we can a little bit closer, and to draw closer to His heavenly throne. We have been drawn deeper into ourselves to examine what we’re doing and who we are – to an extent we haven’t accomplished in a very long time. So, I don’t know about you – but I thank the Heavenly Father for EVERYTHING he is doing in my life.

I’m listening………. are you?

2 Comments

  1. 12-29-2020

    Such a beautiful word and one I needed to hear. Thank you, Pam! Blessings to you and family.

    • 12-29-2020

      Thank you so much Bonnie, I so appreciate you commenting! 🙂

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