Saturday, May 19, 2012

Suffering pt4

Did Joseph suffer under the hands of his brothers? Some may think that he didn't. I would think that he did have some times of silent suffering. Let's remember that he was a favored son of Jacob. That in itself put a target on his back. Brothers do not like the favored son, especially in that society.  The eldest son was always the one in highest favor. He received the blessing from the patriarch of the family. The estate went to the eldest. Now, Joseph is the favored and on top of that Jacob highlights his position by giving him a garment that sets him apart even further. Now, Joseph, in his youthful ignorance did not help the situation. When he explained his dreams to his brothers, that they would bow down to him. Well, that did not go over very well and set him up for future events.

When Joseph was tossed into the pit and was close to being killed by his brothers do you suppose he had a positive attitude? How would any person feel if they knew their brothers wanted them dead? This is the point where some might disagree. It would seem that any body in that position would have a time of anguish and pain over the thought that they were hated by their own. When he was sold into slavery he had no idea that he would be going to a palace and power. He most certainly would have know of the slave trade and the treatment of a common slave in Egypt. The ideas of enslavement and abuse can be worse than the events themselves.

Joseph finds favor in the house of his master. His life becomes on of relative ease until, the wife of his master conjures up the story that Joseph tried to seduce her. Now, he ends up in prison. It is the royal prison, and he is with two servants of the Pharaoh. After Joseph tells the two men what their dreams meant, one is set free and one is hung. Now, Joseph is prison for two years before the man set free remembers Joseph interpretation of his dream. The Pharaoh sets Joseph free and is so impressed he enlists Joseph to help the people survive an upcoming famine.

It would seem that the hardship, suffering, of Joseph was coming to an end. His wisdom enables the people to survive the famine. During the time of want Joseph comes face to face with his brothers. they have come to Egypt to buy grain. They want to buy the grain that Joseph's wisdom guaranteed would be available. The brothers have no idea that Joseph is alive. Through a series of events Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. I would imagine they would think that their heads are soon to be detached. Joseph has a reunion with his father, Jacob.

The spiritual key is found in the words of Joseph himself. He told his brothers that they meant evil and suffering for him but, God meant the entire season of his-story for good and the survival of a great people. I do not believe that Joseph recognized this act of providence as the events unfolded. The light would come on as Joseph looked back and recognized the fingerprint of God.

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