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Hold it in Your Heart: Teacher Joseph, Part 1

by | Apr 19, 2024 | God Cares, God Is In Control, Grief, Teacher Joseph, Trials

The story of Joseph, found in Genesis 37-50. I’m sure you’ve all read it multiple times as have I; but each time I read it new truth jumps out at me… This will be the subject of the next few Saturday nuggets. I can only pray that you are as blessed as I have been.

We know that Jacob didn’t have the best parenting skills: “Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children…So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe…” (Genesis 37:3 NLT). To favour one child over others is asking for trouble, and trouble is what brewed: “But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.” (Genesis 37:4 NLT). And Joseph himself fed into their animosity: “But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.” (Genesis 37:2 NLT). Nobody likes a snitch, but when Joseph began with the dreams (See Genesis 37:5-11), his fate was sealed.

And I get it! Just who was this young upstart! Wasn’t it bad enough that their father favoured him? But he was also a snitch, and now he was setting himself up as more important than even his own parents! And as a result, even Jacob was angered by this second dream: “but his father scolded him. ‘What kind of dream is that?’ he asked. ‘Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?’” (Genesis 37:10b NLT)

But Jacob seemed to take a bit of a passive stance when it came to disciplining his kids (See Genesis 34 and Genesis 35:22), and true to his style, he didn’t do anything to correct Joseph. Rather, the Bible records that Jacob, “…wondered what the dreams meant.” (Genesis 37:11b NLT).

I am currently faced with the situation where my husband is having very vivid dreams that push him beyond the realm of reality. My stance has been to try to steer him back into reality. What if I were to take a Jacob stance? What if I were simply to give the problem over to God and trust God had a plan? This is the first lesson today: when things happen that we don’t understand, we automatically jump to the fact that it shouldn’t have happened, and we try to “undo” any damage that may have been done. What if we took a Jacob stance? Fully surrendering the problem to God and letting Him work out the meaning?

The story goes on, however, and Joseph is sold into slavery. The brothers try to hide their crime by dipping Joseph’s coat of many colours into animal blood and presenting it to their father (See Genesis 37:18-36). Believing that his favourite son has been devoured by animals, Jacob grieves: “Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.” (Genesis 37:34-35 NLT)

Seems perfectly natural to me. Wouldn’t we all grieve in Jacob’s shoes? What Jacob didn’t know was that his son was alive and well in Egypt, and that as a result of this treachery, the way was made for the entire family to survive the great upcoming drought: “but God intended it all for good. He brought [Joseph] to this position so [Joseph] could save the lives of many people…” (Genesis 50:20 NLT)!

The point here is this: No matter how bad things look, God has an ultimate plan. Our job is to trust Him, that somehow He will cause, “…everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

What are you going through right now? Are you, like Jacob, in the thralls of grief? Has your world tumbled down around you? Is there no way out of the problems? Remember the story of Joseph! God isn’t finished with your story, and He won’t be until He causes everything to work out for the good! Instead, keep your eyes on Him. Hold everything in your heart, ever knowing that God will come through!

In His love

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries

(To access the entire “Teacher Joseph” mini-series, click here!)


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