Joseph is my favorite Bible character and is certainly a type of Christ. There is no record given in the Bible of any wrongdoing on his part, but he did do a lot of good. For example:
- He was an obedient child, walking nearly sixty miles as a seventeen-year-old boy when his father told him to check on his brothers. (Just a side, I wonder about Jacob’s judgment. Certainly, he saw the envy and jealousy his older sons felt toward Joseph! Perhaps he trusted them more than he should have—a lesson within a lesson for us!)
- God favored him with prophetic dreams. Twice, God predicts his future through dreams. Again, it may not have been wise to share those dreams with his brothers and father, but the fact that he did reveals a trusting heart.
- As a slave in a foreign land, he does his work well, and God blesses even the heathen nobleman, Potiphar, because of Joseph.
- He bears the flirtations of a married woman, never accusing her to anyone or setting a trap to malign her character, but flees when she seeks to trap him!
- Now in prison, Joseph once again faithfully does what he is told to do—the work of another! He is not bitter with his God but proclaims Him when pharaoh’s butler and baker come with their dreams.
But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness,
I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews:
and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
However, the butler did not think upon Joseph or, if he did, he kept silent. I can understand his plight. He had offended pharaoh–so much so, that he was thrown into prison. I’m sure he was treading lightly. But two years later, hi confession tells us that he had forgotten Joseph.
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day. Genesis 41:9
Have you ever felt forgotten? Does it feel as though your heavenly Father isn’t listening or paying attention? Ten years ago in March, Steam Valley Bible Church’s pastor resigned after 35 years of faithful service. In May, we moved into the area, but it wasn’t until November that we heard about the church’s need of a pastor. Within a few short weeks, we were called to this ministry. Through that time of wandering, we claimed this verse:
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day. Exodus 14:13
It seemed like forever as we worked in a factory and lived in my uncle’s cabin, waiting to hear God’s next marching orders, but when it came it came quickly!
I often wonder why we couldn’t have skipped the summer and just went straight into this ministry! I still don’t know but God does! Yes, I can see reasons why the waiting was good. God certainly sharpened our entire family. It was a very difficult time, but God was directing the whole thing! The question seems to boil down to this: can I trust God to do what is best?
This weekend our ladies had a retreat, and the theme was The God of the Impossible. We studied the attributes of God. While putting together the devotional booklet, I came across a list of God’s attributes which included a synopsis of each attribute and proof texts. Here is the information about God’s attribute of goodness:
One of the most intrinsic attributes of God is His goodness. God is not good because it is attractive for Him to be so, nor does He follow after some sort of standard for goodness. God is actually so good that He is the source of goodness; He alone is the rule and measure of what we truly know to be good. To the Christian, the goodness of the Lord is a security. The Christian knows well that he has been bathed in the death and resurrection of Christ and now stands wholly righteous before God; and this being so, he also recognizes all that God will work in his life will be for his own good — for a good God would never work circumstances to the peril of the righteous. Romans 8:28 tells that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This is the believer’s rest and assurance. But not so for the unbeliever: the goodness of God demands all circumstances to work together for the bad of those rebellious and hateful towards God. God’s goodness will manifest itself in a wrathful justice against those who are defiled of holiness, for True goodness cannot abide evil.
- Exodus 34:6-7 — The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.
- Psalm 25:8 — Good and upright is the Lord.
- James 1:17 — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Somewhere along the way, Joseph had learned this truth and it served him well. It will serve us well too, especially when the way is dark and dreary with no end in sight! God IS good, His timing is perfect, and all the He is doing is for my good. Can you believe it?