Genesis 30-50; Acts 7:10-18; Hebrews 11:22
Joseph was Jacob’s eleventh son, but Rachael’s first-born. Rachael was Jacob’s favorite wife and Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son. Thus started a bitter rivalry within a family that found Joseph being sold into slavery, falsely charged, imprisoned, and left for dead.
Joseph rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. When famine struck Egypt, he brought Jacob and his other sons to Egypt, where they were settled in the Land of Goshen. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod commemorates him as a patriarch on March 31.
Joseph was minding his own business going out into the fields to see his brothers. They plotted to kill him. Sold into slavery he was falsely accused and imprisoned for two years. Joseph experienced suffering and misery but he put up with these difficulties without complaint. He lived in the sure and certain confidence that God would defend him despite the hurt and agony he was experiencing. We may be tempted to speak out, complain and to demand justice. Joseph gives us a new face, the face of a constant faith especially when facing false accusations. Joseph stands as an excellent example of how to live out of faith confidently despite unpleasant conditions.
Almighty and ever-living God, You make us both to will and to do those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight. Let Your fatherly hand ever guide us and Your Holy Spirit ever be with us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word that we may obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Halley’s Bible Handbook An Abbreviated Bible Commentary Twenty-Third Edition, © 1962 Zondervan Grand Rapids
Collect for Divine guidance, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis