The Making of a Man #5 Joseph

“You meant it for evil, BUT GOD meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

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A contractor submitted the following insurance claim. “Last week I moved 300 lbs of bricks from the roof of a three story building by lowering them to the ground via a pulley. After placing the bricks in the barrel I descended a ladder to the ground to untie the rope. Please note that I weigh 140 lbs. While firmly holding the rope I untied it and began to rapidly ascend the side of the building. Somewhere near the 2nd floor I met the barrel of bricks which was rapidly descending which accounts for my separated shoulder and broken collar bone. I was still holding the rope when I reached the 3rd floor breaking four fingers of my right hand in the pulley. At that same time the barrel hit the ground and broke open spilling the bricks. Please note that I still weigh 140 lbs and the barrel now weighed 40 lbs. This caused me to rapidly descend meeting the now empty barrel which accounts for my broken leg. Upon finishing my rapid descent I landed on the pile of bricks that were previously in the barrel breaking my ankle. Dazed and confused I let go of the rope causing the barrel to rapidly descend causing my concussion. I’m out of work and asking you to pay my medical bills that I might find at least some kind of small advantage to my adversity!”

Joseph had an extraordinary ability to see the advantages of his adversity, to shine in the darkness and to thrive while others cave. Why? Because he learned that there is an eternal purpose behind the pain of being chiseled by God into the image of Christ. When we are sometimes jerked up and down by the ‘rope’ of God’s sovereign plan, we must learn that life isn’t always FAIR but God is always FAITHFUL! (Job 42:2)

Joseph (‘increase) was the 11th of Jacob’s 12 sons (‘deceiver’ aka Israel = ‘striving with God’) and his favorite wife was Rachel. Jacob did not walk with the Lord (Gen 25, 27-28) so Joseph grew up in a very dysfunctional family of multiple wives (29:30), passive leadership (34:5, 37:1-17), favoritism (29:30; 37:3-4), manipulation (27;1-46), deception/lies (25:24-34; 27:1-46; 31:1-55;), strife/anger (27:41), envy (27:1-46), rape (34:1-4), hatred (37:4-8), murder/retaliation (37:19), sex perversion (38:1-30), and broken relationships at every turn. Do you realize that God is greater than your circumstances and will help overcome any generational patterns of sin? What environment are you creating for your wife, kids and grands (Ps 128. i.e. healthy greenhouse)?

Through it all God masterfully chiseled Joseph to help him overcome his teen age immaturity (37:1-5), insensitive arrogance (37:1-17), human trafficking (37:18-36), broken family, betrayal (37:18), slavery (39:1- 3), sexual temptations (39:6-12), false accusations (39:13-20), 13 years of wrongful imprisonment (39:20-40:4; 41:46), pschological rollercoaster of dashed hopes (40:1-23), abandonment by friends (40:23- 41:1), and seven years of famine (41:53-57). Though perhaps not as dramatic, what adversity is God helping you to overcome?

TAG Teams

What chisels did God use to make Joseph more like Christ? Which one is He using in your life?

(Gen 37:1-5)

(Gen 39:1)

(Gen 39:6-12)

(Gen 39:20-23)

(Gen 41:1)

(Gen 45:1-15)

5 Reasons for Suffering