Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SKULDUGGERY (09/01/16)
TITLE: GOD'S PROVISION
By Christine Hammock
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In today’s world there’s an evil current that has overtaken mankind—a spirit of debauchery that convinces victims that right is wrong and wrong is right. In Genesis 37-50 there’s a story of how underhanded proceedings, dishonest, unscrupulous behavior, and trickery shadows Joseph’s life, but God was in control even in Joseph’s darkest hour.
Joseph along with his brothers herded their father’s flocks. He had a bad habit of being a talebearer that conveyed to their father bad reports that concerned his brothers. They envied and resented him, even hated him.
Jacob loved and showed favoritism toward Joseph. He openly demonstrated his love when he presented Joseph with a beautifully decorated robe. After Joseph received this robe the brothers realized their father loved Joseph more than he loved them. They begrudged and despised Joseph even more.
God revealed to Joseph through prophetic dreams that he would rule over his family. Joseph told his family about the dreams. Jacob rebuked him for the disclosure of his dreams, but couldn’t fully understand the meaning of the dreams.
Later Jacob sent Joseph out to the fields to check on his brothers and bring him a report. They didn’t recognize God’s hand in Joseph’s life; therefore, jealousy caused them to plot together to end his dreams and take his life. Reuben, the eldest brother opposed the plan to murder Joseph and devised another plan. They would throw him into a cistern and inform their father that a wild beast had killed him. When Joseph arrived in the field with his brothers, they ripped off his robe and threw him into the dry cistern. Reuben thought he could retrieve him later and send him back to his father.
That evening while they were eating they saw a caravan of Ishmaelite traders destined for Egypt. Judah formulated another plan. They would sell Joseph as a slave to these traders. As the caravan came close, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. They coated Joseph’s robe with blood and told their father a wild beast had killed him.
Joseph was sold to an Egyptian official named Potiphar. After a while Potiphar realized God gave favor to Joseph and prospered him in all he did. This realization caused him to appointed Joseph supervisor over his household.
It seemed all was good for Joseph; then one day Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph. When he resisted, she accused him of rape. Even though he was innocent, he was thrown into prison. In prison God gave Joseph favor with the head jailer and was placed in charge of the other prisoners.
While in prison the king’s cupbearer was sent to prison. Joseph noticed he had a long, despondent face and asked him what was wrong. He explained he’d had dreams he didn’t understand and requested Joseph to interpret his dreams. Subsequently his dreams came true and the cupbearer was released from prison and returned to serve the king.
When the king began to have ominous dreams, the cupbearer told him about Joseph and how he’d interpreted his dream. The king called for Joseph and explained his dream. Joseph with God’s wisdom informed the king that Egypt would have seven years of plenty and following seven years of severe famine. He advises the king to start preparing for the famine, and to store up grain to feed all of Egypt. For this interpretation Joseph was rewarded. The king made him a ruler in Egypt, second only to the king.
The famine also affected Canaan, so Jacob sent his ten sons to Egypt for grain. In trade for grain the brothers met Joseph but didn’t recognize him. While they were in Egypt, Joseph did several unusual things to his brothers, even devised a jail sentence, but finally he revealed himself to them and forgave them for their evil offenses against him. In Genesis 50:20 (NLT) Joseph avowed, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” Afterward Jacob and all his family moved to Egypt under Joseph’s care.
God provided greatly for Joseph. But the greatest provision ever made was Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary. Many followers thought it was the darkest day in history; however, God “meant it for good.” With Jesus as Savior you can encounter your darkest hour with confidence. Call on Him today in the mist of your trouble and He’ll turn around life’s problems for good as He did for Joseph. God will provide.
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