I’ve been at the YWAM base in Los Angeles for a little over a week now and I’m really loving it! Last week, we learned part of the “Inductive Method” of studying the Bible, and this week will learn more of the Inductive Method before studying Exodus.
This past week I studied Genesis. It probably took me about 45 hours total to complete the entire assignment. It was extremely challenging to keep pushing through, but so worth it. I can’t even describe in words the revelation I got by actually studying, as opposed to just reading it.
As amazing as my studies were, I still found myself giving into random feelings of anxiousness and worry over the past week of being here. But then I read Joseph and was immediately convicted. I’ve heard the story time and time again, but actually studying it has impacted my spirit in a way it never had before.
Joseph was not only betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave in a foreign land, but was then falsely accused and thrown into a prison for two years. While I’m sure there were times Joseph had a crisis of faith in it all, he had the choice to keep his heart open to God or to harden it. Because of what God continued to do through him in the story, I can logically infer that Joseph chose to keep trusting God. And because of that, God found favor with him. I mean literally, because of Joseph’s trust in God, Joseph couldn’t help but be exalted and find favor wherever he went. He was first exalted by Potiphar, then the prison guard, and finally, by Pharaoh himself.
God had a redemptive plan for mankind in mind, and I loved seeing Him fulfill these plans through Joseph. First, God gave Joseph a plan to save the land from starvation during the famine. He made Joseph so powerful (he was second in authority, just below Pharaoh), that all the Egyptians in the land were at his mercy by the end of the story. Joseph was a Hebrew, mind you, a complete foreigner who used to be a slave!
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
But God didn’t stop there. God also brought reconciliation and healing between Joseph and his family, whom Joseph hadn’t seen in over a decade. God also gave Joseph a revelation of the good that came out of his suffering: so that he could preserve his family’s line (the line that eventually Jesus would come through). How blessed Joseph must have felt and how blessed Joseph was!
‘Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept…
Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.
To summarize, God remained faithful to Joseph throughout his life, even if the midst of dark times. And because Joseph kept trusting God, God’s glory kept flowing through Joseph so that everyone around him was blessed, including himself. Joseph persevered and didn’t doubt, even when in prison for two years.
This story has honestly helped me resist thoughts of fear and unbelief so that I can be a part of what God wants to do to restore man to Himself every single day. Praise God!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thess 5:16-18