I was listening to the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack a few weeks ago at the gym. Although the musical’s depiction isn’t entirely Biblically accurate, it’s incredibly energetic and entertaining. It got me thinking more about Joseph, one of my most revered characters in the Bible.
He was betrayed by those closest to him – his family who should have loved, supported, and encouraged him. Instead, they disregarded his pleas for mercy and left him for dead. “We saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he begged us (to let him go), and we would not hear” (Genesis 42:21).
Now, I’m not claiming that poor Joe was innocent. He antagonized his brothers to no end with his grandiose dreams and stunning coat. But that still doesn’t justify what his brothers did.
I can’t help but wonder if Joseph, as he was on his way to his new slave home in Egypt, wished his brothers would have instead killed him. His life likely seemed hopeless and over.
But God wasn’t through with him yet. Joseph becoming a slave led to his relationship with Potiphar. Though he was then thrown in prison thanks to false accusations from Potiphar’s seductive wife, it was Joseph’s success in interpreting dreams that landed him in front of Pharoah (thanks to his prior relationship with the cupbearer). It was that connection that led to him ruling over all of Egypt.
My favorite quote from Joseph comes from Genesis 50:20, when he said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph recognized that his previous plight led to his ultimate redemption.
Admittedly, I often lose sight of the fact that God can use even the worst, most hopeless, discouraging, and painful times in my life for good. Some of those times have already been redeemed…but certainly not all. In the meantime, I’m grateful for such a stunning example of grace in spite of adversity.