The entire story of Joseph starts in Genesis 37. To get the picture, let’s go through the first 28 verses… So, Israel (Jacob) loved his son Joseph “more than all his children“, and as a gift “he made for him a coat of many colours” (verse 3). That gift meant a leadership in the family. And all Joseph’s brothers hated him for that (verse 4). Then Joseph dreamed two dreams, which made his brothers to hate him even more (verses 5 and 8). In addition, his own father Israel rebuked him (verse 10). The first dream (verse 7) interprets as Joseph’s brothers will bow down before him. And the second dream (verse 9) interprets as his father, mother, and his eleven brothers will bow down before him.
At some point, Israel sent his son Joseph to find his brothers, who were feeding the flock in Shechem (verses 13 and 14). And when Joseph found them in Dothan (verses 15 and 17), “they conspired against him to slay him” (verses 18 to 20). Reuben, the oldest of them, refused to kill his brother, and instead he proposed to “cast him into the pit that is in the wilderness” (verse 22). Reuben had a hope “to deliver him to his father again“. When Joseph came to his brothers, they strip off “his coat of many colours that was on him” and throw him into the empty pit (verses 23 and 24). When they saw Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, Judah proposed to sell Joseph into slavery. So, they “sold Joseph … for twenty pieces of silver” (verses 25 to 28).
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. -- Genesis 50:19-20 KJV
Jesus, too, received “a coat of many colours” from His Heavenly Father. That is God’s glory and His righteousness what the Father put on shoulders of His beloved Son: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus Christ is the King of the kings, He is the ruler of the nations “of many colours“. Jesus, too, was sent to find and rescue His brother and sisters: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). And when Jesus “came to his own, and his own people“, – as chosen “people for his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 14:2), of same blood lineage – “did not receive him” (John 1:11). They plotted and lied against Jesus, and demanded His death through the most excruciating way, death on the cross. They “kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’” (Luke 23:21). Later on “they stripped him of the robe” and “led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:31). He was betrayed and sold for “thirty pieces of silver” by one of His twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26:14-16).
“Am I in the place of God?“. Joseph knew that God is supreme and ultimate judge. He directed his brothers to look upon to God in their repentance. “Fear not“, said Joseph to them, because he forgave them. Both Joseph and his brothers knew that they did “evil against” him, but God turned the situation and used it for good, “to save much people alive” when there were seven years of hunger.
Jesus, too, being not “in the place of God“, but on the cross, in the place of sinner, He plead His God to “forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus knew that His ministry is “to save much people alive” from the eternal punishment in hell. However, the true intent of His betrayers was nothing else, but result of their hardened, corrupt, and evil hearts. Therefore, it is of vital importance for Christ’s ministry to forgive, and God is still on the Throne and He is in the place of the Judge!
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- Have you ever had a situation when it seems like everything and everyone is against you?
- Do you endure all these hardships with faith and patience like Joseph did?
- Do you forgive your accusers and enemies and let God judge them accordingly?
- Do you love and serve God despite your afflictions?
Heavenly Father, we praise your Name above all the names. You are our Creator and Ultimate Judge and we thank You Lord God, for who You are. We pray You God, that Your Spirit will be with us always: through our betrayals, hardships and afflictions. We pray that You will make us more like Jesus, thus let us submit to Your will and endure to the end, carrying the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ for the glory and honor of our Father who art in heaven.
All these we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen