Friday, January 30, 2015

Genesis 41:15-16 -- On Resilient Obedience

"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Genesis 41:15-16

Reading Joseph's story this morning impressed me with Joseph's resilience.  First he is sold into slavery by his own family, then after he adjusts to his new life and even prospers in it, he is unjustly imprisoned for many years.  A lot of people at this point would probably be bitter and hopeless, maybe even cursing God for their lot in life.  But Joseph stays true, and stays hopeful with God's help.  The man who comes before Pharaoh isn't manipulative and desperate.  He gives God all the glory for his ability to interpret dreams, and he doesn't hold his freedom as a condition of his compliance, or even ask for it.  He just helps. 
I think that Joseph's story is a good lesson for all of us, not in the follow-God-and-you-will-become-rich-and-powerful way, because that definitely isn't what is best for all of us.  But following God will help things work out in the end.  It doesn't happen quickly.  And sometimes bad things happen and we don't know why.  I am sure that Joseph was confused when he was sold as a slave AND when he was thrown into prison, not knowing why these things were happening to him.  And similar things may happen to us, and we won't be able to see ahead and know why.  But God *is* watching, and he does have a plan for each of us.  And if we stay true through all of it as Joseph did, then things will work together for our good.  Maybe it won't be riches or power.  Maybe it will just be "an answer of peace" like the one Pharaoh needed after his dream.  But whatever it is, it will be worth the in between steps, and it will be good for us as individuals.  God knows us, and loves us, and even though he can't save us from life and experiencing some ups and downs as we learn and grow, he will make sure that we get the happy ending that we deserve.  Today, let's follow Joseph's example, and be worthy of a similar reward.

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