Often times God will reveal to us plans and dreams for our lives, but leaves out the details about the journey to the final destination. Joseph, “The Dreamer,” knows all too well what it’s like for God to reveal your future, and then be hit with all kinds of plot twists.
Joseph’s story begins in Genesis 37. God had given Joseph a reoccurring dream about his future that was basically saying one day he would reign over his family. Joseph shared these dreams with his father and brothers and the news was not received well. You see, his brothers were already jealous of him because their father, Jacob (now Israel), favored him and gifted him with a tunic of many colors. Not to mention Joseph snitched on his brothers to their father about their bad behavior. So, it’s not a surprise that when he shared his dreams that an even greater hate rose up in his brothers’ hearts.
One day Jacob (now Israel), told Joseph to go check on his brothers tending sheep in Shechem. When he arrived at Shechem he couldn’t find his brothers. The brothers had moved on to Dothan and when they saw Joseph coming they put together a plan to kill him. One of Joseph’s brothers, Reuben, persuaded the rest of the brothers to throw Joseph into a pit instead of killing him with plans of rescuing Joseph later. They strip Joseph of his robe, cast him into the pit, sat down to enjoy some grub, and then they saw Ishmaelite traders passing by. They decide to take Joseph out of the pit and sell him as a slave for 20 pieces of silver. The brothers thought they were ridding themselves of a problem, but what they didn’t know was that they were propelling Joseph into his purpose.
- Pits precede purpose.
He had been stripped of his tunic, which represented his natural father’s favor, and thrown into a pit. They took him out of the pit and sold him into slavery. No doubt Joseph felt hurt, rejected, and betrayed by his own flesh and blood. I’m sure he was wondering how by being obedient to his father landed him in these horrible circumstances. He had to be thinking this scenario looks nothing like my dreams. God doesn’t condone the evil done by others, but he can sure work in the midst of it.
When we go through hard times and are enduring difficult circumstances our initial reaction is not “this must be part of God’s plan for me,” but rather “why is this happening to me?” We tend to focus on the why, instead of trusting that God can see the bigger picture. What we think is this terrible thing is God behind the scenes orchestrating and setting us up for our purpose. Sometimes you have to endure some pits to get you from point A to point B. At first glance, Joseph’s situation seems messed up and unfair. But God had a plan in mind and it could not be accomplished by Joseph staying where he was.
Anything that God plants in our hearts to do has to go through a process of authentication. It’s God’s way of proving to us that He’s in control and that the dreams He’s given us to do can survive hard times. It’s in those dark times (pits) where we feel all alone that our prayer life changes, our worship deepens, and our hunger for God alone increases. Our pits are times where God can bring clarity to our lives and, in due time, His purpose will be revealed. Joseph may have had to experience the pit, but when he came out he was on the road to his purpose.
Stay tuned for Part 2!!