Joseph, the son of Jacob, came from a highly dysfunctional family. Today, we might it call it a “blended” family (the 12 brothers were born of 4 different mothers), and the brothers always seemed to be fighting. About the only thing that united his brothers was their hatred of him. And because his brothers hated him, Joseph ended up thrown into a pit, sold into slavery. Joseph’s brothers had actually planned to kill him, but their greed overcame their hatred long enough for them say: “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all (pause) he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” Genesis 37:26-27
Then they soaked Joseph’s cherished coat of many colors in goat’s blood and brought it back to their father. They watched callously as their father cried out in anguish, tore his garments and mourned for days. With brothers like that, Joseph didn’t need enemies. So in Genesis 39 we find Joseph in Egypt as a slave. He had been ripped from his home and his friends, dragged across the desert to a land that he’d never known and surrounded by a strange people who spoke in a language he couldn’t understand.
Even if he could have gotten away from his slave owner, he probably couldn’t have found his way home! At 17, he’d lost everything that he’d loved and considered important. And now he lived at the whim of his master. He’s the lowest form of life in the nation of Egypt. He has nothing… he owns nothing… he IS nothing. Just like all the other slaves of that day, he has no rights, no status, no value.
BUT, Joseph did have one thing that other slaves in Egypt didn’t…He had a God who cared for him. Our relationship with God gives us hope in the midst of the storms of life. Our relationship with the Lord is our lifeline, it is our spiritual umbilical cord, and it sustains us in the good times and the most trying times of our lives.
Eugene Peterson translates the first few verses of Psalm 46 like this:
1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
As you read this you may feel abandoned like Joseph. But in the midst of the storm you are in or have experienced in the past the Lord is with you. Cry out to the Lord in the time of your need for He loves you and wants to help you.
Listen to our podcast to hear more about the story of Joseph. https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-joseph/false-accusations
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Ps 46:1–3). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.