Topic: Voted off the Island Date: 06/02/2014
Kicked out into Great Blessings
“Please, can we have silence in this room? Joseph has something to tell us again.” Jacob spoke to his family that engaged in noisy discussions after their breakfast.
Joseph, a young boy of seventeen, stood up to address his parents and siblings, “You all remember the dream that I had last time about eleven sheaves bowing down to my sheave; and my father interpreted it for us. He said that most likely the dream meant that I will rule over my brothers in future.”
“Yes, that’s what Dad said, but I can’t see how that is going to happen. It is absurd for a youngest brother to aspire for a leadership of a big family like this. I think Reuben, our eldest brother, should be the one telling us such dreams.” Simeon, the second eldest child, interrupted Joseph.
The other brothers nodded their heads in agreement. Joseph ignored his brother’s remark, and continued, “I’ve got another dream to tell, it happened that I saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down before me.” Joseph announced joyfully.
“Dad, what does it mean?” Joseph asked Jacob who was quiet and in a deep thought concerning the dream.
“Son, it seems you don’t understand the implications of this recent dream. The dream probably means that I, your mum and eleven brothers are going to bow down before you. This is ridiculous!” Jacob was disturbed.
During summer season of a particular year, Joseph’s ten elderly brothers led their father’s sheep for grazing at a nearby village, Shechem. They had been away for some weeks. So Jacob sent greetings and foodstuff to them through Joseph. He found them at Dothan.
When the brothers saw Joseph afar off they made a plan to kill him. That would bring end to his irritating dreams.
“Don’t let us kill him, remember he is our brother. Let us keep him in this nearby dry well; this makes him die of starvation without shedding his blood.” Reuben intended to save Joseph’s life and deliver him safely to their father.
The brothers agreed with the plan. Joseph was stripped of his beautiful dress, and was dumped half naked in the dry well. In the absence of Reuben who had gone to marketplace to get some items, Joseph was sold as a slave to Ishmeelite businessmen who were on their way to Egypt.
Reuben was very angry with his brothers when he learnt about Joseph’s departure to Egypt. A new plan was made; Joseph’s beautiful dress was soaked in the blood of a killed goat. The brothers agreed to lie to their father about Joseph being torn into pieces by wild animals.
Jacob wept bitterly when the boys gave him a false testimony of Joseph’s death. He mourned for his son for many years.
Meanwhile, the Lord’s presence was still with Joseph even in Egypt. He served as a houseboy in Potiphar’s household where he was wrongly accused and later sent to the King’s prison. While in the prison Joseph’s gift of dream interpretation was manifested as he interpreted dreams for two King’s officials.
When Joseph was thirty years old, the King of Egypt had a dream that no one in the entire Egypt could interpret. Having heard about Joseph’s gift of interpretation, the King summoned for Joseph. The young Hebrew boy interpreted the dream, the King was impressed, and Joseph was promoted as a Second-in-Command to the throne.
Few years later there was a grievous famine over the region. All the neighboring countries came to Egypt to buy food.
“I learnt that there is food in Egypt. I would like to send you people there to get food for us.” Jacob told his sons. Few days later the boys departed to Egypt.
Joseph was in charge of the food supplies in Egypt. When his ten brothers came to the land, they could not recognize Joseph. Being dressed as an Egyptian helped Joseph to cover-up for a while.
“Good day, sir. We have come all the way from Canaan to buy food here.” The ten brothers bowed their heads as they addressed Joseph unknowingly.
Eventually when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, they were completely shocked.
“You meant to harm me but God turned it around for good to save the lives of many people.” Joseph welcomed his brothers warmly.
Subsequently, he brought his entire family to live in Egypt.
Bible text: Genesis 37 – 50
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