Joseph's life tells us about God's sovereignty and human
responsibility. God had told Abraham when he had no child that his
descendants would be in a foreign land and would be afflicted for 400
years and after that, God would judge that land and bring them out of
the house of bondage into the Promised Land (Gen 15:13-21); and God
chose Joseph to bring Jacob's household to Egypt. That is God's
sovereignty. But man has his responsibility to do his part faithfully
to fulfil God's plan. Jacob loved his son Joseph most, so he must have
also passed on God's promise and his saving faith to Joseph. Joseph's
faith was manifested when he believed and accepted God's Word (through
dreams) and told the dreams to his brethren and father. He was envied
by his brethren and sold to Egypt, a land of idolatry. Joseph feared
God and kept himself pure (Gen 39:9), and because of this he was put in
prison, "but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his
afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh
king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house"
(Acts 7:9-10). God used Joseph to bring Jacob's household to Egypt,
where they would grow in number over 400 years to become a great people.
Joseph acknowledged God's sovereignty, so he did not have any desire
for vengeance, but kindly encouraged his brethren, "But as for you, ye
thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good," to save much
people alive" (Gen 50:20). Before leaving the world, Joseph also
encouraged them to trust in God and His Word. "I die: and God will
surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he
sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob" (Gen 50:24). His saving faith
in God's Word, though he did not see its fulfilment in his life, was
manifested in instructing his people to take an oath to carry up his
bones out of Egypt. "God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up
my bones from hence" (Gen 50:25). Joseph even looked forward to his
resurrected body in the future! What about you?
THOUGHT: Do I always encourage others to trust in the Lord?
PRAYER: Lord, help me to always encourage others to trust in Thee.