~ True Love ~
He was born to two people who loved him immensely.
He was the favorite son of his father, to the jealousy and hatred of his brothers.
His father worked 14 years of hard labor in order to be able to marry his mother.
He is the eldest son of two that they would create together.
Their story is one of joy mingled with sorrow; and gain mixed with loss.
This boy in particular, had a God-given 'destiny' to fulfill
and although so loved by his parents, hated by his brothers,
when all was said and done it was up to him
what he would be even in the face of fierce adversity,
cruel treatment, rejection and injustices to his person, hardships, sorrow and bondage.
He, like Jesus, at a young age was acquainted with grief!
Well now, he could go on being a child of God or He could fume and fuss and rebel
and cast God aside because of what he got that he didn't deserve or earn.
There was no mercy shown him. Would HE show mercy?
Life ~ is just like that to saint and sinner alike ~ ~ sometimes!
That is just the way it is.
Besides, God didn't promise even His own children a bed of roses.
He didn't spare His Only Begotten Son
(who was right, Pure, devoted and obedient ALL the time)
the agony of the cross or, the pain of false accusations, jealousy, rejections, humility and degradation to His person, body and emotions.
He DID however, promise to be on our side when we follow His ways.
He DID promise (Jesus) that He would never leave us nor forsake us
and that HE would be WITH us even to our end.
Who and what better....to have WITH and FOR you?!!!! Hallelujah!
In this story, we too can find strength, comfort and encouragement
through any hard times we ..... experience in our own life.
What happened to these people is for our learning,
lest we make some of the same mistakes they made. Too,
it teaches us LOVE for God and LOVE for others, preferring none!
Let's look at this fine young man, see his example of the fact that
'Love.....works no harm to another.'
His mother was preferred and deeply loved by his father, more than Leah, her sister.
In Genesis 29, you will see the terrible disappointment of his father Jacob,
when after he'd worked 7 years for Rachel, the love of his life and one beautiful woman to look upon,
he found out the next morning after his wedding that who he thought was indeed Rachel in his marital bed the night before,
was instead her sister, Leah, the eldest of the two. So much for a veil over one's head.
(It was the custom in those days for the eldest to marry first.)
He had to agree with Laban her father, to have Leah for a week
and then work another 7 years for him in order to get Rachel at the end of the week. (vs. 26 - 28)
As time had it, Jacob preferred Rachel over Leah.
God seeing this, caused Leah to produce children and Rachel was barren.
This distressed Rachel, feeling less of a woman for not being able to bear her husband children.
After a time, God opened her womb and she too bare 2 sons by Jacob, Joseph and Benjamin.
(Before going any further, it was from these two ladies, their maids and Jacob, that we got the 12 Tribes of Israel and blessings of each)
At age 17, Joseph had 2 dreams (and told them to his family) of him being ruler over them all one day. (Gen. 37)
His father rebuked him for having the audacity to think that he was going to be some big-stuff to rule over his elders.
His brothers who were already deeply jealous, angry, and full of hate against this favored son of their father,
got even more incensed against him, to the point of conspiring how they could get rid of him,
wiping out all the partiality they saw shown to him by their dad.
Jealousy breeds competition, misery, hatred and finally, ..... murder.
Over and over this element is seen throughout the Bible.
Jesus Christ was delivered up on lying charges, falsely accused,
because of the jealousy of the 'religious leaders' and scribes,
plus the fact that they could not compete with Him doing the miracles that He did,
bringing deliverance to people in their mind, soul, emotions and body.
So what happened with Joseph? Where did he end up? What state of affairs did this young 17 year old find himself in? And, was there anyone that would be for him? What sort of choices would he be called upon to gut-up and make? How long ~ ~ would he find himself in a situation and what would become of him? Would he change for the better or for the worse? How long would he be alive? Would he be able to forgive? What lessons would he learn from all the experiences he was about to embark upon in his young life? Along with this message, I encourage you to read the chapters for yourself from the beginning through. It is a beautiful story of True Love.
One day shortly thereafter, Jacob bid Joseph to go to the fields to join his brothers that were feeding their father's flock, to see if they were all alright and to let him know. He, finding them and they seeing him coming, conspired against him to kill him. The eldest, Reuben, seeking to save his life, placed him down in a pit in the wilderness instead, so he could return later and bring Joseph to his dad. (Gen. 37: 12 ~ 24) They sat down to eat together, and Judah his brother said that it would be to no advantage to kill their brother, wanting to sell him...to the Ishmeelites. When they went to gather him out of the pit to sell him, it so happened he wasn't there. What happened to their brother? GOD (not fate) had it so that while they were off eating, insensitive to the plight of their brother, Midianite merchantmen brought him up out of the pit and sold him their self to the Ishmeelites for 20 pieces of silver. And the beat goes on and on and on for this 17 year old lad with a heart for God and man. So they took his special coat of rainbow colors their dad had someone make for him especially, killed a goat kid and dipped it in its blood to show evidence to their father that he'd been killed out in the field. When they brought that home, their father Jacob was overtaken in grief. It was to last many a year...that he pined and grieved for the loss of his son, Joseph. All those years, he thought him to be dead, and his other sons left their father in that state of mind and emotions to live his days out in. How sad! How cruel! What devilishness is the 'fruit' of jealousy.
The Midianites sold Joseph into Egypt as a servant to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's and Captain of the Guard.
Genesis 39: 2 ~ 23
And The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
And his master saw that The Lord was with him, and that The Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
And Joseph found Grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the Blessing of The Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
But The Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because The Lord was with him, and that which he did, The Lord made it to prosper.
Joseph didn't harden his heart against those who abused, rejected and placed him in harm's way. He never held a grudge; rather, he walked in 'true love' for his brothers, family, and all others....with God. His heart and his life belonged to God and he trusted God, without murmuring of his trouble and injustices done him. God 'let' it be done to him. Why? He was so young and well-intended. God knew that. God sees what a person's heart intent is. God stayed with him and favored and Anointed him to interpret dreams, promoting him even in the prison, year after year. This is the result of keeping the INside of our cup (our spirit) clean for God. This is Love's language.
Oh, he was so young, so full of promise, he was handsome to look upon, and so very loved by his parents; he'd done no wrong, he missed his dad, mom and family so, and I'm sure he prayed for them, and time passed. It was 13 years.....he was in prison, living in there as God's own man.
There came a time that 2 men had a dream. He interpreted them both; and they both came to pass. The one man promised to speak for him when he got out. Two more years passed and there he was yet in that prison. (Gen. 40) Yet, he never stopped being Faithful to God and of a loving-forgiving and kind spirit to all.
This is 'true love' for God and man....no matter what. God's own unconditional love was in Joseph. You know....the kind that bears the blunt and keeps quiet about it because they are trusting God with their life. God could change hearts and bring forth the truth at any time He chose to. God could bring forth the happy ending for all at any time He chose to. Joseph knew that God and he were as they should be together, in close relationship. And, he wasn't about to let whatEVER happened to him, eat at him and cause him to be bitter, mean, unforgiving, and callous against God....or, man! He was most wise. He had even more compassion for suffering people, because.....he walked the valleys of agony and loss himself. He knew how to comfort and how to build up another in love. He knew what rejection was and the pains of it. He knew what hatred in the heart of man could produce against other people's lives and well-being. He chose not....to be such a person. He chose God's 'true love' path for himself. This, is what he wanted his life to count for.
Through a dream that Pharaoh king of Egypt had that troubled him, and finding no interpreter of it, he sought his answer. Then, the butler that had been in prison with Joseph and released 2 years earlier, told the king of Joseph and Pharaoh called for him. Joseph was now 30 years of age (Gen. 41: 46) He had not wasted the last 13 years of his life, regardless of his lot. No, he built his Relationship with God even stronger than before and he grew up to be a strong Compassionate leader of men and God's own hand extended with mercy and goodness. Like God, Joseph was strong enough to be gentle.
When he came before the king and the king said he heard that he could interpret dreams because God was with him, Joseph's heart showed before all what he really was. He quickly told Pharaoh that it is NOT he that interprets dreams, but GOD Himself. (41: 15, 16) Therein lies the key to The Anointing of God to rest upon us all. No big me and little you spirit. No taking the credit and setting our self up as some great one. No. Rather, bringing the focus upon God, making sure that all the glory and praise is to Him. This.....is sooooooooo Joseph. What a precious soul and what a good heart he had with God. That heart showed in everything he did and what he'd say. How he'd react to people and situations, and what he'd take a gentle and firm stand against in love, told all about who he really was. May God find each of us of just such a sweet inner spirit and amiableness with God and man, I pray.
Joseph gave Pharaoh the interpretation from God, i.e. 7 years of plenty; and 7 years of famine in the land and that it would shortly come to pass, for he had the same dream twice. (vs.32) Provision had to be made and Pharaoh need a most wise person to carry it out, so as to look after all the people in his kingdom and round about. And,
Genesis 41: 38 ~ 44
And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom The Spirit of God is?
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
Everything came to pass as was prophesied by Joseph. God was with him and God......brought him from all the pain and injustices of his life to being 2nd ruler in Egypt, straight from the prison house. Divine Intervention. There is a text that says, 'Promotion does not come from the east, west, north or south, but from God. For He sets up one and brings down another.' Amen! Joseph was in the prison trusting God with whatever. I'm sure he didn't ask God to make him a ruler over Egypt. He was 'occupying' and 'abiding' and 'enjoying being in relationship' with God Himself, no matter where he was and no matter what...the circumstances were. He had his Living Streams of Water and the Spirit of God Himself engulfing him and filling him up day-by-day. He didn't fuss, threaten, get pig-headed and mean like some do today. No, that nonsense had NO part IN him. His heart was fixed with God! He knew who God was and he knew GOD knew where he was and what he was. He knew GOD knew what he was doing too. And, that was sufficient. He just did all for the eyes of God and the pleasure of God. That was enough for Joseph. And God knew that He could trust Joseph to do right with people and circumstances in a leadership role of compassion. 'Draw near to God and He shall draw near to you.'
In summary, there came a day that his own family had to come to him to get food. Thus, his 2 dreams of him being ruler over them all, 13 yrs. before, came to pass. When they came, they knew him not and he did not reveal to his brothers that had sought to kill him, who he was. Instead, he asked them to bring their youngest brother. (his brother Benjamin, from Rachel his mother) Then, he asked to see their dad. They feared, not knowing the cause of all this, and feared that if they brought Benjamin and something happened to him, that their father would die, for he'd already lost his other son (Joseph) 13 yrs. earlier and was still in grief over that.
The time came that he revealed to them all who he was. There were tears of repentance and joy. They were all united together in the end. True love. And, this is what Joseph said to them when his brothers were so guilt-ridden over what they had done to he and their dad and mother (who had died in the meantime)...
Genesis 45: 3 ~ 8 and 25 ~ 28
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,
And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is Governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: And he said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
Hallelujah! Love .... is the greatest force in this entire Universe. GOD IS LOVE! A Love that harms no one. A Love that believes in the good to win out in all people. A 'true love' that is unselfish, releasing each one to be their self and to make their own choices. A love, that spans years of pain and loss. A giving love that cares more about another's feelings, than one's own. A love that says, 'Father, I'm Yours. You know me! I trust You and I have no reason to complain or kick. It's my JOY to follow You!' True Love.
God is The God of New Beginnings and Happy Endings. Don't you just love that!!!!!!
Absolutely Gorgeous, Anointed and Victorian
Thank You So Much, Melva
Script Used To Create Cursor Bubble Effect is Courtesy of Kurt Grigg
The Pretty Inspirational Music Playing is Entitled, God Will Make A Way
(as He surely did Joseph and so many others in the Bible...:)