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In the last article we'd learned, that Joseph had finally revealed his true identity to his brothers. And after Joseph had done this, his brothers had became very afraid of him: "Joseph said to his brothers, 'I am Joseph! Is my father still living?' But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence." -- Genesis 45:3
For they knew, that if this really was Joseph -- the brother that they had betrayed some twenty-one years before, they knew that he had every right to enact his vengeance upon them.
Nonetheless, from a worldly perspective, one can easily see -- that the betrayal that Joseph's brothers had wrought against him, had at an earlier point in his life, caused him to lose everything.
And not only that, Joseph had also suffered, in what seemed like a "season of bondage" for thirteen, of the past twenty years. Know that Joseph was a good hearted, loyal person, and he loved his family. So it's no wonder, that many have asked the question: "Why would God allow this to happen to him?" Now personally I'd like to think, that these are the type of moments, that reveals the great advantages of the Sacred Scriptures? For the Good Book, allows us to be able to see Joseph's entire ordeal, through a much broader view.
And because of this advantage, we're able to see things, that Joseph simply couldn't. For example: We're able to see how God was with him, in every stage of his so-called bondage season. Now I say "so-called" -- because every stage that Joseph would enter into along his journey of uncertainty, know that he would eventually gain tremendous favor, with those who were in charge. And because of this "favor" where ever Joseph landed, he was eventually elevated, by being promoted to the very top.
Remember that Joseph was eventually promoted, to be the overseer of Potiphar's entire household, after he had been sold to the Egyptian official. It would also be at this stage from within Joseph's journey, that Potiphar was the only person that Joseph would have to answer to. And being that Potiphar was a top Egyptian official (for he held the position of being the Captain of the Guard from within Pharaoh's court) reveals that he was a man of great authority from within the Egyptian kingdom.
But know that this situation wouldn't last long for Joseph. For we would later find, that Potiphar's wife had falsely accused of him, of trying to defile her, after he had refused her sexual advances. And because of this false allegation that had been put forth by Potiphar's wife -- Potiphar would have Joseph sent to, what was known as the "King's Prison."
But once again in spite of this, know that God was with Joseph. And because of this, Joseph would immediately find favor with the warden, that was in charge of the King's Prison. And because of this "favor" Joseph had gain with the warden, he was promoted to be in charge, over all the prisoners that resided from within this particular prison. And again, the only person that Joseph would have to answer to at this stage in his life, was the warden.
And because of Joseph's continued obedience, and loyalty to the One True God -- Joseph would eventually find favor in Pharaoh's eyes as well. And this "favor" would lead to Joseph being eventually promoted, to the position of Egyptian Prime Minister. And through this position, Joseph was now put in charge of all the land. And it would also be from this point forward, that Joseph would be known as "Zaphenath-Paneah the Revealer of Secrets." And again, at this particular stage, the only person that Joseph would have to answer to, was Pharaoh.
Now from a worldly perspective, it would seem that Joseph was forced to endure a season of chaos. But like I'd stated before, we should be thankful for the Sacred Scriptures -- for they continue to allow us to see, what Joseph couldn't at the time. For were able to see, how God provided and protected Joseph at every stage, when it came to his journey, in spite of his ongoing ordeals. Also keep in mind, that while all of this was going on, I like to think, that the Lord was training and building Joseph up, for the next stage of his life.
But much to Joseph's credit, although he couldn't see what God was doing in his life at the time, understand that he never compromised his position with the Lord. For he'd choose to stay dedicated to serving the Almighty -- instead of trying to seek convenience, and common ground with the Egyptians and their surrounding culture.
Know that everything that Joseph did, he always gave credit to the One True God. No matter how tough the season (or situation) became, he always stayed true, to what he believed he was -- which was God's servant. And because of Joseph's dedication, God could trust him with the very important position, that He would later bless him with.
So therefore, Joseph stayed obedient to the God of his forefathers, and he didn't take his "position of favor" with the Lord for granted. You know, I'd once asked the question, when it came to this Sacred Record: "What would a person have done, if they were in Joseph's position?" For we must understand, that Joseph didn't have this great advantage that we have today, when it comes to the Sacred Record.
For you must keep in mind, it's because of God's Word that we're able to look at Joseph's life in such a way, that would allow us to see how God actually moved, both in spirit and through the natural, when it came to Joseph's life. And it's because of the Holy Scriptures -- that we're able to learn from Joseph's experiences, without having to personally endure them ourselves. But keep in mind, that Joseph wasn't able to do this, when it came to his life -- so therefore, he had to venture forth only on his faith, and trust in the Lord the best way he knew how.
So let's take away your advantage, and let's say you could only see things as Joseph did? Now if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit, that this would be a very difficult position to deal with. For this could easily be a situation, that could possibly put us in a place, that could have caused us, to compromise our position with the Lord.
I mean think about this for a moment... you now have an opportunity to seek revenge, against those who had betrayed and took everything from you -- you're now able to seek vengeance against those, who had plotted to kill you, but instead, sold you into what seemed like a season of bondage -- a season of bondage, that would place you on a very enduring thirteen year journey.
But on the other hand, you're God's servant, and you know that you will be held accountable for your actions, if you were to seek revenge. But then again, we're still human, and so therefore, we try to justify or actions for this so-called stressful, and emotional situation. And why not, since we can easily see how Joseph had every right, by the world standards to seek revenge against those very same people who had betrayed him -- then why not us?
But keep in mind, that Joseph didn't follow the world... he'd followed the One True God. And so therefore, he must not compromise his position and relationship with the Lord -- by giving in, and yielding to his emotional pain. Albeit, when Joseph had first met his brothers, after they had betrayed him some twenty years later, he'd struggled with these vengeful thoughts daily. And this is why, he had spoke so harshly with them, when they had found themselves before him. And this is why, he'd thought about charging them as spies.
For if they were seen and charged as spies -- then they could be imprisoned, or perhaps put to death, behind these types of charges. After all, who was going to argue with "Zaphenath-Paneah the Revealer of Secrets?" But as God moved through the natural, by allowing Joseph to gradually find out information that would help to give him pause, when it came to those painful emotions he was dealing with.
For example: Remember when Joseph had found out that his little brother Benjamin was still alive? Notice that after he had heard this very important piece of news, Joseph's overall agenda, would change towards his brothers. Keep in mind, that Joseph didn't know that Benjamin was still alive, when his brothers had first came before him. But after Joseph had found out that this was the case, fortunately for Joseph's brothers, things would change.
For Joseph understood at this point, that he would need his brothers, if wanted to get Benjamin from out of his father's household and into Egypt. So it would be at this point, that Benjamin would become Joseph's new focus point. So instead of Joseph killing, or imprisoning his brothers -- what he would do instead, is use them to bring Benjamin to him. Know that it was these kinds of moments, that God would use, in order to reveal things to Joseph about his brothers, that he just, simply couldn't ignore.
For Joseph had adopted the notion, that his brothers were wicked and evil men. And rightly so? I mean after all -- look at how they'd treated him, some twenty years before. But understand, that this was then, and this is now -- and God wanted to show Joseph that his brothers had indeed changed for the better.
So we must understand, that God did not place Joseph in this position, so he could humiliate and seek revenge against his brothers. He'd placed Joseph in this position, for reasons that went far beyond Joseph's natural understanding of things. And because of this, we now see God moving both through the spiritual and natural. And through Joseph's humbleness and obedience, he's now able to stay on the right path. For Joseph would finally be able to see, that all that he had been through, was by God's design.
This is why he told his brothers:
"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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing or reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of this entire household and ruler of all Egypt." -- Genesis 45:4-8
I'd like to think, that these are the type of things we should remember, when we find ourselves, in what seems like a "season of chaos." For Joseph wasn't able to use the Sacred Scriptures like were able to do today. For if he could, he would've been able to benefit from gaining some type of "perspective advantage" when it came to his life overall.
But thanks to God's Word -- we're able to do, what Joseph couldn't. For we must always remember, that God never changes -- for He's the same: today, yesterday, and forevermore. And being that God was there for Joseph when he needed Him most -- know that the Lord will also be there for us as well.
Now in the meantime, as we turn back to our current journey -- word would get back to Pharaoh and his officials, and they were pleased that Joseph had reunited with his brothers. For Pharaoh would end up backing all that Joseph had promised his brothers. And this is why we find Pharaoh telling Joseph:
"Tell your brothers, 'Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.' You are also directed to tell them, 'Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. Never mind about your belongings, because the best of Egypt will be yours.'" -- Genesis 45:17-20
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