Delivery Man • Joseph
Sierra Combs | Women’s Ministry Director
I love a good story, and one of my very favorites in the Bible is the story of Joseph. If you grew up in the church, you have most likely heard of him. He was the young boy with the colorful coat. It was given to him by his father Jacob, or Israel because God changed his name. This did not sit well with his brothers (he had 11 of them) because they saw the intense love that their father had for Joseph and were extremely jealous of him. They were so jealous that they threw him into a pit and sold him as a slave to some guys heading for Egypt. This is a riveting story! I encourage you to read it this week for yourself in Genesis chapters 37-50. Joseph finds himself as a slave in Egypt, but because of his gifts, wisdom, and God’s blessing, he works his way up in society. This certainly was not by accident; God had this plan for Joseph the whole time. At one point, God’s plan had Joseph living in comfort and success, like when he found himself in charge of a very prominent household in Egypt. Just when things started getting good, God’s plan landed Joseph in prison for two years for a crime he did not commit. However, God was always working in and through Joseph’s life, and regardless of his circumstances, Joseph remained a godly man of great integrity. God blessed him and used his hardships for a purpose, which eventually led to him becoming the second most important man in all of Egypt, second to Pharaoh himself.
Joseph had always been a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. It is one of the reasons his brothers hated him so much. It is also how he got connected to Pharaoh. Because of this God-given gift, Joseph was able to warn Pharaoh of an upcoming famine that would affect all of Egypt and beyond. Joseph knew he had some time and made provisions over all the land to store food in the time of abundance. When the famine eventually came, because of Joseph’s quick thinking and good managing skills, there was enough food for not just all of Egypt, but the surrounding lands as well. It becomes interesting who was included in those surrounding areas, but the very brothers that sent him to Egypt in the first place. I can only imagine how Joseph must have felt. The last time he saw them was when he was looking up from a pit or looking back at them as he was taken off as a slave. They hated him and never wanted to see him again. All these years later, they meet again, with Joseph having complete control over their lives and their futures. Most would have had the brothers killed on the spot, or at least turned them away. Instead, Joseph showed them mercy and grace, “So Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come near to me, please…I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for … God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors” (Genesis 45:4-7). Chapter 50 verses 20-21 (NIV) continue the story of forgiveness, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” Not only did Joseph provide food for his brothers, but he also moved the entire family to Egypt and provided them with the best land in all the region. While Joseph’s brothers were afraid he would seek revenge for what they had done, Joseph recognized God’s sovereign plan to use him to deliver His people, the young nation of Israel.
It is good to do a little recap on Joseph. He was a shepherd to his father’s sheep. He was loved deeply by his father, and despised by his brothers and others who wanted to harm him. He was sold for the price of a slave. He was tempted, falsely accused, and bound in chains. Life was difficult, and he suffered greatly, but he overcame and was exalted to the second highest position, seated at the right hand of the king. He forgave those who wronged him and delivered his people from death. Does it sound familiar? Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I love the story of Joseph is because it is a beautiful foreshadowing of another that would come. While Joseph was a deliverer, Jesus is “the” Deliverer. He was also a shepherd to His Father’s sheep. He was loved deeply by the Father, and despised by His people. He was sold for the price of a slave, tempted, falsely accused, and bound in chains. His life was difficult, and He suffered greatly. However, He overcame and was exalted to the highest place, seated at the right hand of the Father. If we accept Him as our Savior, He forgives us and delivers us from eternal death and separation from Him. That is quite a delivery! Thank you, Jesus, for Your grace and mercy!