GOD IS THE GRAND WEAVER; LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOSEPH
BIBLE VERSE: GENESIS 49:22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough [a main branch of the vine], a fruitful bough by a spring [a well, a fountain]; its branches run over the wall [influencing others].”
One of my favorite stories in the Bible, is the story of the life of Joseph. From the beginning to the end, his life is both compelling and inspiring. Joseph was one of the twelve sons and the favorite of his father, Jacob. Because of the favor he had with his father, his brothers were jealous of him. In their bitterness and rage, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt, and the Almighty God used this seemingly hopeless situation to promote Joseph and change the course of history.
Sometimes God will reveal things to us that nobody else can relate with, because they are meant for our ears only. The Bible tells us that Joseph had some very interesting dreams, and part of what made his brothers so envious was the fact that Joseph boldly [and I should add, naively] shared these dreams with his brothers. The dreams did come to pass in the process of time just as God had showed him, but hearing the dreams caused great division and jealousy within his family.
In the Book of Matthew 7:6, Jesus reminded His followers not to cast their pearls before swine. In other words, do not share what is precious with those who will disdain it and trample on it. God will often place something special on your heart. Have you ever shared it with someone, only for them to discourage you or say something that dampens your spirit? Choose to be wise when it comes to sharing with others the special things that God has placed on your heart.
“Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a [distinctive] multicolored tunic. His brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all of his brothers; so they hated him and could not [find it within themselves to] speak to him on friendly terms.
Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him even more. He said to them, “please listen to [the details of] this dream which I have dreamed; we [brothers] were binding sheaves [of grain stalks] in the field, and lo, my sheaf [suddenly] got up and stood upright and remained standing; and behold, your sheaves stood all around my sheaf and bowed down [in respect].” His brothers said to him, “are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us as your subjects?” So they hated him even more for [telling them about] his dreams and for his [arrogant] words. Genesis 37:3-8
The Almighty God is the Grand Weaver. He will use every aspect of our lives, even the things that do not make any sense to us, to bring about His plan and fulfill His purpose. During the time that Joseph spent in Egypt, he was arrested for a crime he did not commit. So, not only was he sold into slavery by his brothers, but he found himself in prison in a foreign land. Nothing was working out according to the dream that God had showed him…….or, so he thought.
There will be times when things will happen in our lives that seem out of place. During those times, we may find ourselves thinking, “how could God possibly use this circumstance or difficulty in my life?” But look at the events of Joseph’s life and recognize that none of them happened by accident. God had Joseph right where he needed to be, to fulfill his destiny.
Even when you find yourself in “prison,” don’t lose hope in God’s promises. Can you imagine the thoughts that would have been going on in the mind of Joseph while all of this was happening? Don’t you wonder if he ever lost hope? Did he feel forgotten and abandoned by God? His dreams probably felt like a distant memory at this point, yet God was still in-charge, working all things together for his good. God would ultimately use Joseph’s imprisonment to shape his life as well as the life of the entire nation of Israel. And not only that, but the Bible tells us that God was right there with Joseph in that prison cell. He gave Joseph favor with the chief jailer, who appointed him to be in charge of all the other prisoners.
“So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in jail. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper. Genesis 39:20-23
Forgiveness is always a part of God’s plan. By the time Joseph encountered his brothers again, he was second in command in Egypt and they didn’t recognize him. Joseph’s dream which he had shared with them many years earlier became a reality, and his brothers did indeed bow down to him in respect. You may be thinking that this would have been the perfect opportunity for revenge, right? Joseph had a different spirit and he did no such thing. He did test his brothers to know if their hearts had changed, but forgiveness was in his own heart. Even though Joseph’s brothers had sold their young brother into slavery [a wicked crime that many of us would have a hard time forgiving], Joseph chose forgiveness. He welcomed his entire family back into his life with open arms, and invited them to move to be with him in Egypt.
Let us be encouraged today by the life of Joseph, and how it demonstrates to us, God’s capacity, His power and ability to transform sorrow into joy and to breathe life into a situation that appears dead to the natural eye.
1. Father, please give me the wisdom to know what you intend for my ears only so that I will not cast my pearls before swine and attract avoidable problems in my life.
2. Father, according to Your infallible Word, and as you did for Joseph, please use every aspect of my life, even the ones that I do not understand, to fulfill Your purpose.
3. Father, please help me never to lose hope in Your promises, regardless of how hopeless the situation may seem. Let Your Word be my Anchor always.
4. Father, help me to have a forgiving spirit and a clean heart, that I may glorify You always, in the Name of Jesus.