Joseph’s life is turned upside down, but God is with him
Father Jacob sends Joseph to see if everything is well with his brothers and with the flock. That is the opportunity the brothers have been waiting for! They first propose to kill Joseph, but then decide to sell him as a slave to some traders who happen to pass by.
Poor Joseph is sold by his very own brothers. His whole life is turned upside down, as he is dragged away from his protected life as Jacob’s favorite son, away from the people he knows and loves, and taken to a foreign country. There he will have to work as a slave, without any hope of ever seeing his family again. That does not exactly match his dreams of ruling his brothers!
For Joseph, God’s hand in all this must have been completely incomprehensible. It seemed like the Lord had abandoned him, and had forgotten about the dreams! How could He let this happen?!? I can hardly imagine how much pain and grief and confusion Joseph must have gone through.
And yet… Genesis 39:2 tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph”. Even in this horrible situation, Joseph was not alone! That sounds incredible, and yet it has been the experience of many Christians that God can be especially “with us” in difficult circumstances.
David, for example, has experienced many hardships. Sometimes he lost all hope, and cried out to the Lord: “Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?” (Psalm 44:24).
At other times, he could see God’s faithfulness even within the hardships: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
Have you ever experienced God’s nearness in hard times?