|Posted by saintisaac on January 25, 2010 at 2:58 PM|
One of the great stories of recovery in the Old Testament is found in the latter part of the book of Genesis and it is the account of Joseph. Joseph is first mentioned in chapter 30 v. 24, but the story really gets juicy in chapter 37 when Joseph begins to dream. Isn't it interesting how dreams, visions, hopes, really can throw a curve ball in our lives. This was the case for Joseph!
"Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more," Gen. 37:5.
The brother's hatred would ultimately lead to an attack on Joseph's life and him being left for dead, sold into slavery to the Egyptians and eventually gaining rulership over all of Egypt. Novels could and have been written on each piece of the story (I challenge you to read the story, it's better than any novel you'll find today), but my entry today is spurred by the compassion that is developed and maintained in Joseph's life.
Despite struggle, pain and great peril, the scripture says several times that "the Lord was with Joseph" Gen. 39:21. What a wonderful thing to have written about you, that God is with you. Of all compliments, this might be the highest one could pay. God was with Joseph and Joseph was, by his actions, with God. He knew God had his back. He found himself in prison, God had his back. He was falsely accussed of inappropriate contact with the master's wife, God had his back! Joseph often leaned on God and the tougher things got, the more he leaned -- God never let him fall!
Joseph's never judged his circumstances, he always seemed to measure God first and compared to God, his circumstances looked pretty tiny. Closeness to God was Joseph's springwell of forgiveness.
His brothers, who had initally wronged him, eventually returned to Egypt seeking food during the drought (Joseph's closeness with God was the single reason Egypt was prepared to provide during a drought). How would Joseph respond to his brothers who had all but left him for dead, eventually selling him into slavery? Was he wrathful, hateful or a punisher?
"Then Joseph said to his brothers, 'Come close to me.' When they had done so, he said, 'I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt'...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." Genesis 45:4-5, 8.
What compassion! Joseph found great purpose in great peril. Think of someone today who has wronged you. Maybe their offense was so great, it almost cost you your life. Bring them close to you, forgive them and inform them that there was great purpose in the peril.