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Heroes of the Bible | Genesis 37:1-10, Genesis 45:7-8, Genesis 39:20b-21 | Joseph

Jen Ervig is filling in for Erica this week, and she’s bringing heroes of the Bible to you!  Today is all about Joseph. Despite being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and falsely imprisoned, he remained faithful to God. Joseph is an excellent example for us in staying faithful to God, even during difficult times.  

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Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Jen in for Erica, and this week we’re going to do a character study on heroes of the Bible. Last week, Erica had a study, Ruth, so I thought it would be fun to study a few more Bible personality favorites. The Bible contains stories of people who persevered through struggles, deepend their faith in God and inspired believers through all of time. down to us today. There are so many stories that narrate the experience of these Bible peeps who praised God when the going got tough. We empathize with these men and women because we can relate in so many ways. Above all, we desire to be like them, yet in our own way, because they continue to praise God in their actions and life despite the most trying times. That is why when our lives turn upside down, we can turn to the Bible and re-live stories like that of Job or Moses or Ruth to find comfort.

More importantly, however, these stories help us to understand God’s will for us all even in suffering. So, let’s take a look at a few interesting Bible characters who praise God in the most challenging situations. Here we also discover some of the best lessons on faith in God. So today we’re going to start with Joseph. I love Joseph because he’s a guy with some fashion pizazz. Yes, I’m talking about that coat of many colors, and he’s a dreamer. Genesis 37 has the story.

Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 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. 5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

So, there’s a lot going on here, and boy, lately I can relate to some of this due to some stuff that I’ve been going through. We know that Joseph is favored. He’s daddy’s favorite and even gets this amazing fashionable gift. His brothers are jealous and due to that, plan to bring him harm, even though he’s done nothing wrong. Now pause. There’s some wisdom that could have been shown on Joseph’s part. Maybe when good things happen to us, like a dream depicting a future of others bowing down to us, we should rather take it to the Holy Spirit and humility, asking, what does this mean? Rather than promptly going to those we have strained relationships with who are probably not going to receive it. Well, I don’t know that Joseph was bragging intentionally, but surely, even if he wasn’t, he at least had the mind to know his brothers weren’t going to respond well to such a dream. Therefore, why tell them? What was Joseph’s purpose there? So, his brothers sell him into slavery due to all of this. And in Egypt where he sold into slavery, Joseph’s misfortunes continued as he was imprisoned because of a false accusation. Nonetheless, Joseph used God’s gifts to help the Pharaoh lead the people during a famine. And in return, Joseph received life’s greatest blessings: an admirable job, a family, and most importantly, reconciliation and reunion with his brothers and father. Genesis 45:7-8 says,

God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.

Earlier I mentioned that I’ve been going through something similar. People I thought loved me, sought to make life tough for me, and it was really hard for me to swallow. But then I read Genesis 39,

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

 I immediately praise God when reading that because like Joseph, I may not have asked for these bad things, but if I stay faithful to what he asks of me in the midst of it, then yeah, I may be in a bad place in life taken from getting to do things I love, feeling disrespected and whatnot, but the Lord is with me, and will show me kindness and grant me favor in the place I don’t want to be with whomever I report to at the time. Just like Joseph in prison with the warden, God has plans for all of us. Whether we may be struggling at home or in a foreign place, just like Joseph, God’s favor returns to us in places, in ways we least expect as long as we remain faithful to him.

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