Friday: Further Thought ~ Joseph, Prince of Egypt
Ellen G. White, “Joseph in Egypt,” Pages 213-223; “Joseph and His Brothers,” Pages 224-232 in Patriarchs and Prophets.
“The three days of confinement were days of bitter sorrow with Jacob’s sons.
They reflected upon their past wrong course, especially their cruelty to Joseph. They knew if they were convicted of being spies, and they could not bring evidence to clear themselves, they would all have to die, or become slaves. They doubted whether any effort any one of them might make would cause their father to consent to have Benjamin go from him, after the cruel death, as he thought, Joseph had suffered. They sold Joseph as a slave, and they were fearful that God designed to punish them by suffering them to become slaves. Joseph considers that his father and the families of his brethren, may be suffering for food, and he is convinced that his brethren have repented of their cruel treatment of him, and that they would in no case treat Benjamin as they had treated him.” — Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, book 3, Pages 155, 156.
“Joseph was satisfied. He had proved his brethren, and had seen in them the fruits of true repentance for their sins.” — Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, book 3, p. 165.
A year ago I could never think about forgiving someone who's done such a harm to me. My heart was totally broken and I was desolate. Thus I began a journey of trying to find answers whithin myself and with God. I asked a friend if she would like to meet everyday through a virtual room for praying. We decided that the best hour for us would be at 6 AM. Thus we've done this for 15 minutes since then. Today, we are basically 20 people praying together every single day, asking for the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us through all our daily activities. Miraculously, not only I got to forgive the person who's broken myself emotionally, but I also started to pray for her... God is so wonderful! He can turn suffering into resilience, patience, self-conciousness, love for God, for myself and for others, in the right measure! God can give me everything I need to be happy, no matter how difficult my situation might look. He is an awesome God and always cares for me. He is longing for anyboby in the same way! Isn't that wonderful?
I am happy for you. Yes. God is wonderful in every way because He is a loving, kind, merciful and full of grace and ready to forgive and always waiting for us to ask Him through prayers!
Pharaoh decides, then, to appoint Joseph as the man in charge over the whole country of Egypt and gives him all the power he needs for that purpose. After all trials Joseph had to endure, this success story should inspire admiration for the hero Joseph. Yet, the focus of the biblical narrative is not Joseph.
The happy end is not about success, but about repentance, forgiveness, and God's invisible presence in the course of history.
As I thought about what to write at the conclusion of Joseph's story I could not help thinking of the many broken families that need healing right now. It took a long time to mend the brokenness of Jacob's family. We are often so impatient and want healing to take place immediately. We need the reminder that God is not running to a TV script with everything solved in 30 minutes (less if to take out the time for advertisements). Some miracles take a lifetime, and if we have learned nothing else this week, we have learned patience, persistence and a relationship with God go a long way in the miracle business. Shabbat Shalom - Peaceful Sabbath.
As the family of God envisaged from eternity, will unite in heaven shortly, I wonder will there be any surprises ?
Who is my neighbour ?
Question 3 from study: Joseph had tested his brothers. In what similar ways does God test us?
Deuteronomy 8:1-20 (CSB)
1 “Carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the LORD swore to your fathers. (Reality in eternal plan : New heavens New Earth)
2 “Remember that the LORD your God led you on the entire journey these forty years in the wilderness, so that he might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart whether or not you would keep his commands.
3 “He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Keep on trucking
Question 4 from Study : Even after all those years, the brothers realized their guilt in what they had done to Joseph. What does this teach us about how powerful guilt can be? And though we can be forgiven and accept God’s forgiveness, how do we learn to forgive ourselves, no matter how unworthy we are of that forgiveness?
Satan will always, gives us a guilt trip, in who we were, before our new birth in Christ. I agree that he is right, BUT I point him to the New Life/Spirit that is maturing in me, from Christ, to overcome him (Satan) and myself!
19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you, but I want you to be *wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil.*
20 The God of peace will soon *CRUSH Satan under your feet* . The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
We have been given the power, from above, to overcome, use it !
Satan is dying in/to me !
Not forgiving a person (holding a grudge) has been likened to drinking poison hoping the other person dies. How did Joseph learn to forgive? Yet he does not forget. Should he?
It appears to me that Joseph’s relationship with the other brothers was based on common curtesy and deference due to the fact that they were his brothers by the same father; but with Benjamin – his interaction with him was truly personal and from the heart; they shared both parents! When he deemed the right time had come, he revealed his true self; showing his loving and caring disposition to all his father’s sons and their families, not just toward Benjamin. He demonstrated this by extending the invitation to bring all families to Egypt to save them from the famine, and Pharaoh degreed it to be done.
Our Creator, heavenly Father to Joseph and God to the family of Israel, moved His hand in mighty ways; touching the lives of many more people, He moved forward with His plan to mold the people who were no people into the nation of Israel - His People.
Following along the development of Joseph's and his heavenly Father’s relationship, I can see God setting up opportunities to introduce Himself to become personally involved in so many more lives and so with becoming a more familiar, approachable, personal God to all the members of this large family and those who they lived among.
What stands out most significantly for you as you consider Joseph's life story?