Trusting God’s Timing
The Story of Joseph
Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob had 12 sons but Joseph was his favorite son because he was born by Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel. Jacob worked 14 years to get Rachel as his wife and he also had to wait many years after marriage for Joseph’s arrival because Rachel was barren. (Genesis 30) Joseph was born to Jacob in his old age which just gave Jacob another reason to favor him more. (Gen. 37:3)
Because Joseph was Israel’s (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel) favorite, he made an ornate robe of many colors for him. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more, they became jealous and hated him.
Joseph begins to have dreams of his family bowing down to him. He interprets them to his family and his brothers resent him for his dreams saying, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him even more and conspired to kill him, but his father kept his dreams in mind.
One day Joseph went after his brothers who were supposed to be grazing the flock. They had, of course, wandered off doing something else (they weren’t the most behaved boys). When Joseph found his brothers, they mocked him saying, “Here comes that dreamer.”
-How many times have you been put down for having such a great dream that others couldn’t fathom or were hating on you for? Sometimes people will hate you, not because of who you are but because of the favor bestowed upon you. Also, be careful who you tell your dreams to. People will try to kill you in order to kill your dream.
Joseph’s brothers stripped him of his ornate robe and threw him in a pit to die.
As they sat down to eat their lunch they saw some Ishmaelites and sold Joseph to them as a slave instead of killing him.
Joseph, as a slave, was taken to Egypt. In Egypt, Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, bought Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph and everything that Joseph did prospered. Potiphar noticed that and gave him favor and Joseph became one of Potiphar’s attendants. Potiphar entrusted everything he owned to Joseph.
-The favor of God will take you where you can’t go on your own.
Potiphar wasn’t the only one to become fond of Joseph, however. Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph to sleep with her, but he refused.
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. (Genesis 39:8-10)
One day, when no one was home, Potiphar’s wife approached him again and caught him by his cloak but Joseph ran away. She was enraged and plotted against him. She showed the ripped cloak to her husband and said that Joseph tried to sleep with her, and she had him thrown in prison.
-Sometimes, doing the right thing doesn’t always (at first) produce the results that we think they will.
While in prison, Joseph met a cup-bearer and a baker. One night the cup-bearer and baker had dreams that they couldn’t interpret. They explained their dreams to Joseph and he interpreted them. Exactly what he said would happen, happened. The baker was executed and the cup-bearer was exalted back to his position. (Genesis 40:8-22) Joseph told the cup-bearer to remember him when he goes back to the Pharaoh’s palace. The cup-bearer didn’t.
Two years passed by and Pharaoh had a dream that he could not understand. It was troubling him so he consulted with wise men and magicians but no one could interpret his dream and that’s when the cupbearer remembered Joseph.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. (Genesis 41:9)
-Sometimes it feels like we’ve been forgotten when really, God is waiting for the perfect opportunity for us to be presented.
Pharaoh sent for Joseph and Joseph interpreted his dreams. (Genesis 41:25-36)
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” Genesis 41:39-40
-Now that was no one BUT GOD, because there is no way that I will put you in charge of my kingdom and all I own just because you could interpret my dream!
Because Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, they were able to prepare for the 7 years of famine. Egypt harvested and stocked so much that neighboring lands were travelling to Egypt to get food to survive. Amongst the travelers were Joseph’s older brothers who had thrown him in the pit. Ooooooh lol (crazy stuff man, crazy stuuufff)
His brothers didn’t recognize him but he recognized them.
Joseph didn’t immediately reveal himself to his brothers however. He sent them through a lot of rigmarole, such as accusing them of stealing, throwing one in prison, and sending some brothers back to get his little brother Benjamin. However, for the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go into detail telling everything he did. (You can read it in Genesis 42-45.)
In the end, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, “I am Joseph…I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!..So then it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
- There will be times that people will rise together to come against you and try to destroy you, BUT GOD! He will redeem every trick of the enemy and every delay thrown at you. Joseph’s brothers thought they destroyed his dream, when really what they did was help to place him where he needed to be for his dream to manifest.
Joseph sends for his father to come. The whole family ends up moving to Egypt, and with his high rank, Joseph is able to give them the best land in Egypt and reigns over them. (Just like his dream prophesied.) God’s Word always holds true.
There is so much to learn from Joseph in this story. They call Joseph “the Man of Patience” and he was! He held on to that dream and trusted God through 10 chapters of going from being the favorite, to being thrown in a pit, to being sold into slavery, to things starting to work out in Potiphar’s house, to being thrown in prison to finally being brought to Pharaoh’s palace.
- A lot of times, it seems that we’ve pasted the “expiration date” of our dreams, that there is no way the dream can manifest now. But if God promised it, it will come to pass! Don’t put a time stamp on God.
God gave Joseph that dream early on to hold him through the process of that dream manifesting.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes or what we go through to reach that dream. Trust God’s timing.
Every “downfall” is just setting you up to rise even higher. Joseph was the favorite child but was then demoted to a pit and then sold into slavery. But from slavery he was exalted to the house of Potiphar. From Potiphar’s house, Joseph was demoted to prison, but from that prison he was promoted to second in command under Pharaoh.
The cup-bearer had forgotten about Joseph for 2 years until the appointed time for Joseph’s anointing to be needed! If the cup-bearer had presented Joseph to the Pharaoh before the right time, Pharaoh might have questioned his use for Joseph.
Let’s be like Joseph and hold on to that dream and that promise from God no matter how long it takes or what we go through to obtain it.
Everything Joseph went through, prepared him for where he was going.
Joseph was a little cocky being the favorite son, but that pit humbled him. Joseph learned how to manage things being the attendant of Potiphar which helped to prepare him to be able to manage all of Egypt under Pharaoh. Trust God and learn through the process. Just as the Lord was with Joseph, the Lord is with you.
Gen. 39:2 – “The Lord was with Joseph…”
Gen. 39:3- “…the Lord was with him…”
Gen. 39:21- “…the Lord was with him…”