Bible Stories

Joseph: A Story of Jealousy, Lies, and Triumph

We have all encountered jealousy at some point in our lives. If it wasn’t coming from us, it was coming toward us from someone else. Have you ever been in a situation where jealousy went too far? Well, that is the very situation that Joseph (son of Jacob) found himself in. Only the evil of jealousy didn’t come from strangers, it came from his own family!
Joseph was the youngest with 10 older brothers. Naturally, in families, there is usually a certain amount of jealousy. In this case, it wasn’t just one brother that was jealous….It was all of them. The fact that Jacob favored Joseph above the rest did not help. Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors. Also, Joseph telling the family that he dreamed that his brothers bowed down to him, well that was the last straw!
One day, the brothers were tending to their father’s sheep. Jacob asked Joseph to check on them. Little did Joseph know that they had formed a plot against him. They wanted to get rid of him….and they did. They threw Joseph into a hole and then sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver! They had no shame nor guilt. Satan had overtaken them.
When they returned home, they told Jacob that they had found Joseph’s coat covered in blood. Believing that wild animals had killed his son, Jacob cried for many days. Although we know what happened to Joseph, poor Jacob did not. If only he knew that his beloved son was still alive. However, the guilty parties were not about to speak up and tell the truth.
After being sold to Potiphar, who works for the king, everything seemed to be ok for Joseph under the circumstances. That is, until he is thrown into prison! How did he end up in prison? Have you ever encountered the wrath of a shunned woman? Unfortunately, Joseph did. It seems that Potiphar’s wife was greatly attracted to Joseph and wanted to have relations with him. After Joseph refused, she got revenge by telling Potiphar that Joseph tried to force himself upon her. So, he was thrown into prison. As if being sold into slavery wasn’t bad enough.
After 2 years had passed, Joseph was still in prison. Pharaoh started having dreams. these were not ordinary dreams and he wanted to know what they meant. The cupbearer, who had been in prison with Joseph, told Pharaoh that Joseph could interpret dreams. Pharaoh sends for Joseph and he interprets them. Joseph told Pharaoh that the dreams meant that there were going to be 7 years when food would grown well in Egypt, and 7 years when it would not grow well. Joseph then tells Pharaoh that he should appoint someone to collect the food during the good years so the people wouldn’t starve. He chooses Joseph. A position such as this made Joseph become the most important man in Egypt next to Pharaoh.
Eight years later, during the hard times, Joseph sees some men coming. Guess who it was? It was his brothers! Jacob had sent them there for food. Joseph knew who they were, but they did not know him due to the fact that he had grown older and was dressed differently. Joseph could have turned them away for revenge. Did he? Absolutely not! He did test them to see if they were still mean and unkind though.
After he gave them the ultimate test, and they passed, he revealed himself to them. Joseph asked of his father and wanted to see him. Afterward, he hugs all of his brothers. Pharaoh invited Joseph’s entire family to come and live in Egypt. They all came. if it wasn’t for Joseph being an upright man with God, and having faith, kindness and a forgiving nature, that family may have ended up in great despair. As a result of this, the family prospered and became a special people unto God.
We may not know why bad things happen to us sometimes. We cannot control the actions of others. But God is in control. With God, all things are possible!

Categories: Bible Stories

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