Joseph is an emblematic character of the bible and today we are going to learn 4 lessons about his life. He was Jacob’s eleventh and favorite son, as well as Rachel’s eldest son, who remained infertile for years, but was his father’s most beloved wife. Because of this, he became the most protected and favored.
Throughout his history, he was despised by his brothers, threatened with death, sold as a slave, tempted by a powerful woman, unjustly imprisoned, forgotten in prison, challenged by Pharaoh to interpret dreams, appointed governor of Egypt, and put to the test before his brothers, whom he forgave. In all of this, he had faith in God and was honored.
1. The evil of envy, jealousy and hatred
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.Genesis 37: 4
Driven by hatred, envy, and jealousy, Joseph’s half brothers conspired against him and sold him as a slave. To justify Joseph’s absence to his father, they anointed his animal tunic and gave it to Jacob, so that he would think that his protected son had been devoured by a wild animal.
It is not uncommon to turn on the news and see horrible crimes that happened within someone’s own family or with close people, such as boyfriends or friends. These struggles that can lead to death, happen because of these feelings mentioned, of a carnal nature and do not please our God. We must get rid of them so as not to risk making mistakes that can have serious consequences.
2. The importance of honesty
The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.Genesis 39: 21-23
Joseph was a competent and just young man, when tempted by Potiphar’s wife he remained strong and did not give in to her wishes, but was unjustly imprisoned for his wife’s slanders. Sometimes, we will pay a high price to maintain our Christian integrity in a world whose system is dominated by the evil one, but God is with us as he was with Joseph.
Chosen by God to rule Egypt, he was eventually released, thanks to the gift the Lord gave him to interpret dreams. Having interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, suggesting actions to prevent Egypt from suffering long years of hunger, he received the following offer, described in Genesis 41:40: “You will be over my house, and your mouth will rule over my people, only on the throne I will be greater than you ”.
This shows the importance of staying strong, God does not forget us and our reward comes from him. As long as we are dedicated, hardworking, interested, and honest workers, doing our best in what we do and using our gifts and talents to bless others, we tend to succeed in everything we do.
3. Forgiveness has the power to restore
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.Genesis 45: 4-5
In Genesis 42:21, Joseph’s brothers confessed the evil they did, twenty years after selling their brother as a slave, they still felt remorse for what they had done, and Joseph, after testing whether his brothers were truly sorry, forgave them without any reservation and moreover, he recognized divine providence by acting through them. We must always be willing to forgive and do the providence of our Lord, who works in our lives even in unfavorable situations.
4. Knowing our purpose is important
But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.Genesis 45: 7
From the beginning of Joseph’s story, we can see how he had faith and knew what his mission was – serving God and others – that kept him steady even in trials and the one who went through so many misfortunes became the second most important man in Egypt. José’s story shows that even in adverse situations we must do our best and when we know our purpose and who is on our side we have nothing to fear. We must learn to identify blessings in the guise of trials.
God bless you!
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