After reading through the rest of Genesis and being somewhat unimpressed with many of the characters, Joseph was a breath of fresh air. Sure, he started out a little spoiled and snitches on his brothers, but he pays his price with humility and responds to adversity with diligent work and God fearing dedication. He succeeds because of that and is blessed several fold for it.
- Our intro to little Joey is less than complimentary. He’s the favorite son with the multi-colored cloak that “brought back a bad report” about his brothers to his father. Then he openly tells his brothers about dreams where they would bow down to him. What they did was extremely wrong, but you can see why they’d be a little upset.
- You get an early taste of the various brothers personalities in how they handle the situation. Reuben unsuccessfully tries to save Joseph while Judah moves to make a profit from the situation.
- Joseph finds himself in the household of Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. He does such a good job that he’s put in charge over the whole household. God blesses the whole household because of Joseph and Potiphar trusts him so much that he doesn’t concern himself with anything except what to eat. That’s an amazing statement and speaks volumes about Joseph’s character and prosperity because of the Lord’s blessing.
- Potiphar’s wife throws herself at him and Joseph models two forms of resistance to temptation for us. First he says “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God ?” (not against Potiphar, but against God) Then he fled the scene – even when she had his garment. To wit, apparently he was running away from her without a stitch of clothing. Sometimes that’s what it takes to remain pure.
- For his faithfulness he’s rewarded (Job-like) with prison time. But does that turn him biter? Nope. He responds with the same dedication to the Lord and remains faithful in all that he does. Thus he’s rewarded once again by the jailers putting him in charge of everything in the jail.
- It is funny how many people admire a “self made man” and give credit to people that bootstrap themselves to success. If anyone could have taken pride in this it would have been Joseph, but instead he always gives the credit to the right place – God. There’s a great lesson there as well.
I was going to do this all the way through the end of Genesis but there’s too much to pull out of Joseph’s life to summarize in just a few bullets, so I’ll have to break it up.