And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. (Acts 7:9-10)
In The Face Of Trial, God Was With Him
Joseph is a story of incredible virtue with amazing courage to face life’s most difficult trials. The story of Job is examined for the enormous burden placed upon a man of God, but Joseph faced his reality at the age of seventeen. He was the favored son of a doting father, born into wealth and privilege and destined for greatness. Before Joseph could find his day in the sun, he had to face the darkest trials any man must face. Jacob sent his beloved son to check on the older brothers when they turned on him, wanting to kill him. Reuben interceded before the murderous plan could take place, but while he was gone, the brothers sold Joseph to a caravan of slave traders bound for Egypt.
The hatred of the brothers of Joseph came from their envy of him. He was the favored son and considered blessed because of certain visions and dreams he had received. They hated him so much that they could not speak peaceably to him. When the brothers found Joseph coming to them in Dothan, they planned to kill him and see what became of his dreams. Reuben interceded, hoping to return Joseph to his father. While the elder brother was gone, Joseph was sold for twenty shekels of silver, and Joseph was taken to Egypt.
Life for Joseph was hard and difficult. The journey to Egypt was an arduous journey chained as a slave before being sold on the slave market as a piece of flesh. His work at Potiphar’s house was demeaning and humiliating. Joseph kept his faith in God, believing the Lord had a plan for his life. In time, he showed his fidelity to honesty and was placed in charge of the household. After Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce the young man and failed, she accused him of attempted rape, and Joseph was cast into the king’s prison. He languished again in dark days, but faith helped him rise above his trials. He was in charge of the prison and had free reign to oversee the king’s prison.
One day, two prisoners were brought into the prison. The butler and the baker of Pharaoh had displeased him and were put into the prison where Joseph was. The butler and baker each had a dream, and Joseph was able to tell them the interpretation. As determined by the word of the Lord through Joseph, the butler was restored, but the baker was hanged. Joseph had begged the men to remember him and find a way to release him, but after two years, the butler had forgotten what Joseph had done. The butler remembered the man in prison when Pharaoh had a dream and could not determine its meaning. Joseph explained the dream to Pharaoh and, as a reward, was released from prison and made second in command of all of Egypt.
It was more than twenty-two years from when Joseph was sold by his brothers, and he walked out of the Egyptian prison. For much of his early life, Joseph lived under the dark cloud of trials that would have broken most men. But God was with Joseph. The blessings of the Lord overshadowed the heart of Joseph, who walked each day in his darkness, trusting in the will of his heavenly Father. Joseph would later recount to his brothers how he saw all that happened to him as the working of God in his life. Those dark days of trial made Joseph a stronger man because he trusted in the will of the Lord. Joseph’s trials were not easy, and he did not enjoy them. What makes the story of Joseph victorious is he never gave up on God, and God never gave up on him. Dark days come. Trust the Lord. There is always a bright day when the heart trusts in the power of God.