Not something new but, it is amazing how much easier life is when you have an attitude of gratitude; something I recently learned for the umpteenth time in my life. It started like this…
Our church had been studying the book of Genesis. A book that I sometimes feel I’ve read so many times that it’s easy to zone out during the message and have an “I already know this” type of mindset. I have to say that that was impossible as each week’s presentation was both thought provoking and applicable to my life. Especially one story and teaching on the life of Joseph.
In case you are unfamiliar, the life of Joseph goes something like this…
Joseph at 17 years old was his father Jacob’s, favorite. So much so that Jacob gave Joseph a beautiful coat. Now, Joseph had eleven brothers, eventually the twelve tribes of Israel. They had different mothers, but still, lots of brothers. Joseph had dreams first that his brothers in the form of sheaves bowed down to his sheaf and then that the sun, moon and eleven stars (his parents and eleven brothers) were bowing down to him. His brothers were not fond of Joseph, for obvious reasons, and they were kind of put off by his dreams, so they sold him into slavery, killed a goat dipped his beautiful coat in the goat’s blood and brought it to their father. Jacob assumed Joseph was killed when he was, in fact, taken to Egypt. He was bought by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, in Egypt. The Lord was with Joseph and Joseph finds favor with Potiphar and was made the overseer of Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife “wanted” Joseph, but Joseph repeatedly turned her down. She grabbed his garment, he ran out of the house and she accused him of trying to “lie with her.” Joseph went to jail.
While in jail, the Lord was again with Joseph and he found favor with the keeper of the prison. Joseph was put in charge of all of the prisoners that were in the prison.
The cupbearer and the chief baker of the King of Egypt made Pharaoh angry and end up in prison with Joseph. They both had dreams, Joseph interpretted their dreams, one favorably the other not so favorably. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him when he was released, which of course he did not do until…Pharaoh had a dream that nobody could interpret. Joseph was called up and interpretted Pharaoh’s dreams so well, that he was put in charge of all of the land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.
As per Pharaoh’s dreams, there were seven years of plenty of food and then seven years of famine. Joseph, now 30 years old, had prepared Egypt for the famine by harvesting and saving food during the seven years of plenty. Joseph married, had two sons, and lived as an Egyptian. His brothers came to Egypt to buy food and long story short, he forgave them saying, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” In case you’d like to read this for yourself, it can be found in the Bible in Genesis chapters 37 – 50.