This morning, as I was thinking back on yesterday and the week of reading from Joseph, there are a few things that stand out in my mind.
1. How long did it take for Joseph to forgive his brothers? He’s 17 when they beat him up and sell him to the gypsies and he is 39 when he sees them again. That’s 22 years! What if he had seen his brothers five years later? Would the reunion been so sweet. I have this feeling that Joseph needed the 22 years. All of the successes and pain that he went to over those two decades produced in him what was needed to bring the family back together. During his Lower Story, God was building in him an Upper Story of faith, hope and love.
2. It’s One Night, No Big Deal – For the Egyptians, a night between Joseph and Potiphar’s wife wouldn’t have been a big deal. She was after all his servant and no one would have thought twice about it…probably not even Potiphar. However, for the Jewish boy, Joseph, sleeping with another man’s wife was strictly prohibited. After multiple advances, she eventually pulls off his kalasiris and he runs away naked. Sometimes standing up for what is right will make us vulnerable to accusation.
3. Respect from Non-Jews – I am attracted to the fact that Joseph, though religiously committed to his faith in God, is in such good standing with those who do not believe in his God. Joseph was faithful and in return he was rewarded by those around him and also by his God. He worked with the integrity of heart and skill of hand, as the psalmist refers to many years later.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good,” said Joseph in response to the hardships in his life – brothers, seductive women, prison wardens, etc. He lived with an understanding of God’s Upper Story.
What are some things that stood out to you in Chapter 3?