When I was a lot younger greatness was promised me. Wisdom demands that when you are promised a great future and a great life, you do everything you can to keep it from eluding you. What stirred me even more was the faith my parents taught me and helped me embrace. I saw them live faithful lives unto God. After seeing what had been prepared for me in life, I couldn’t do anything to jeopardize it because it was a very beautiful picture I did not want to miss.
In order for you to understand me, I have to tell you my story
My Family Background
I came from a fairly large family, my father had twelve sons and one daughter. He was very rich, in fact he came from a very rich lineage. My grand father and great grand father were very wealthy and generous too. They were shepherds with cattle too numerous to mention and they farmed all kinds of grains. Me and my brothers and sister were very proud of who we were and our family background. Our father was well respected and because of him we were respected across the nations. This is not to say we did not have challenges, who didn’t? But because of our faith and heritage in God, whose name is Jehovah, we always overcame.
My Relationship With My Father
I recognized from an early age that for some reason my father always wanted me to be with him, he always treated me different from my older brothers. Even though he treated my little brother nearly the same, it was obvious to the entire family that I held a very special place in his heart. A place no one else in the family could get into.
When I was as little as I can remember, he told me I was very special to him, he said this to me almost as often as he breathed. He also never stoped telling me why. He loved my mother so very much and he couldn’t help loving me when I was born. My uncle, on my mother’s side had deceived him into marrying my mother’s older sister whom he didn’t like very much. He had to work seven extra years to marry the woman whom he truly and so passionately loved. Unfortunately, she couldn’t conceive and she was very sad. After a long time, God had mercy on her and remembered her and she conceived and bore me when my father was old, when he was ninety-one. My father said I was special to him because I was born by his special wife and in his old age. He even made me a tunic of many colours. It was interwoven with threads of divers colours and reached down to the ankles. It was distinguished with great variety and had long sleeves reaching to my palms. It made me look and feel like royalty.
He always taught me ancient wisdom passed down by his grand father to his father and then to him. Wisdom that came straight from the mouth of God, Yahweh.
Of course this did not go down well with my older brothers, they saw my preferential treatment as being very unfair.
I Dreamt God’s Dream
One night (some years ago) I had a dream. In that dream we were all binding sheaves in the field when something really amazing happened. My sheaf rose and stood up straight and all my brothers’ sheaves stood, formed a circle around mine and bowed down to it.
I told my brothers my dream, they were upset with me and queried my insinuation that I shall reign over them and have dominion over them.
Not long after that I dreamt another dream and this time it was even more spectacular. I saw the sun, moon and eleven stars bow down to me. I thought little of my brothers’ reaction the first time, neither could I contain my excitement of what I had dreamt. I ran to my father and brothers and shared this second dream with them too. My father rebuked me and also questioned the supposition that he, my mother and brothers will bow down to the earth before me. He was not pleased that I had shared the dream with all of them.
My Brothers’ Anger And My Predicament
My brothers were angry with me. They often made fun of me and my tunic, they made it apparent that they really did not like me very much because father made them feel unloved. He didn’t treat them like he treated me and he made them do most of the work while I sat at his feet to learn. My tunic of many colours did not help the situation and my dreams seemed to fuel their anger.
I knew all of these but did not expect and was unprepared for what happened one day. On this day, father sent me to go check on my brothers in the fields of Shechem where the flock were feeding. He wanted me to see that it was well with my brothers and the flock and then return with word for him. I never returned.
I got to Shechem but did not find them, I wandered quite a bit until a certain man found me and asked what I was looking for. I told him I sought for my brothers and their flock and he told me they had left Shechem. He said he over heard them say, “Let us go to Dothan”. I thanked the kind man and headed for Dothan. I was excited and relieved that I did not have to go any further when I saw them.
But immediately I got to them they grabbed me and stripped me of my tunic and cast me into an empty pit. All my pleas and bargains did not warm their hearts or change their minds.
While I was in the pit, I was confused but hoping it was just one of my brothers’ cruel jokes. They would surely pull me out and take me home with them… or so I thought. They would not leave me in this pit for some fierce beast to eat me up. I am their brother, son of their father whom he loved. They would not want to hurt father so. Sure enough, soon after they pulled me out and while I was about to voice my gratitude and unflinching respect to them, I saw some strange men, Midianite traders I supposed. My brothers were negotiating with them, they were going to sell me. My father’s sons sold me to these traders and took twenty shekels of silver in my place.
As I wondered about all of this, I was grateful to God they did not leave me to be torn apart by a wild beast in the pit. The traders would most likely sell me to the highest bidder.
I was sold as slave to Potiphar, an officer of Egypt’s Pharaoh. I served him with all my might and diligently too. I never forgot my dreams and neither did I forget fathers teaching of God’s word.
Potiphar was so impressed by my service that he trusted me enough to make me overseer of his house and everything he had. He put everything under my authority and did not bother about anything he had put me in charge of. All he knew as far as his house and everything else, was the meals he ate. He noticed that my presence and service had caused him to prosper unprecedentedly.
Potiphar’s Wife’s Lust For Me
For a long time, Potiphar’s wife had been pestering me to lie with her. I did not even consider it. I mean, how could I, after all father had taught me, after knowing I would be sinning against God? Now I had said earlier that Potiphar put me in charge of everything, I forgot to mention that “Everything” did not include his wife.
I must admit that I was a good looking teenager, besides being complimented by men and ladies alike, I know because I see it on the other side of the mirror. But I know my good looks is no excuse to fall for anybody’s pressure against God’s commands. As many times as she demanded, I said no.
But it happened on this occasion, when I went into the house to do my work none of the men were in the house, and neither was Potiphar. She came unto me, seizing my garment, she said like before, “lie with me”. This time I saw a deadly desire and determination in her eyes and without even thinking I slid out of the garment, leaving it in her hands and fled. I ran out of the house as fast as I could. I ran outside not minding that people will see me not properly clothed. Right then all that mattered to me was pleasing God.
My False Imprisonment And My Faith
Soon after I got outside she raised her voice, calling to the other servants and accused me of attempting to force her to lie with me. She accused me of rape!
I went away and awaited my master’s return. Surely he would not think that I could do such a thing. I have served him so faithfully and diligently all this while. He knows me as a person and the values I stand for.
But she IS his wife… would he believe me over her…
My master came home and the next thing I knew, the guards had put me in prison. A place I never saw me being in. No, not in the dreams God had shown me.
She accused me of rape!
I did not lose my joy. I kept my God, my father, and my dreams in front of me. I knew that as long as I remained in God’s plan, in His will and in His word, He will fulfil His plan for me. I will eventually live my dream.
God’s favour followed me from Potiphar’s house into the prison. The keeper of the prison put me in charge of the prison just like Potiphar had done over his house. I was in charge of the prisoners, what they did and whatever went on in the prison. Even the prison prospered because God was with me.
I looked after the prisoners like they were family. I share father’s teaching with those who cared to listen. But above all, I lived father’s teachings.
My Prison Encounter And My Enthronement
Now, the butler and baker of Pharaoh had been thrown in the prison and given me charge over by the captain of the guard. One day I saw both of them sad and went to them to ask why. They told me they had had worrisome dreams and wondered what they meant. I told them I could interpret their dreams because God would give it to me.
I interpreted their dreams and asked the butler (sadly, the baker’s dream told of his death) to remember me and mention me to Pharaoh when all became well with him.
It took a very long while, but eventually the butler remembered that I had interpreted his dream. He mentioned me to Pharaoh when he (Pharaoh) had two disturbing dreams that no one could interpret.
I interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, there was going to be a great harvest followed by a great famine. He needed someone to execute the counsel God had given through me. Guess who he picked… right… he picked me.
- He recognized my God because I had told him His dream was a revelation of what He (God) was about to do.
- He said since God had used me to give the interpretation of his dreams and counsel on how to tackle the famine, no one was in a better position to execute it.
- The Pharaoh raised me in Egypt, a land where I was a slave.
- He raised me to be his second in command, over His house and all his people.
- He announced that the nation of Egypt would be ruled according to my word.
- He took off his signet ring and put it on my finger and clothed me in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around my neck.
- He had me ride in the second chariot which he had and made the people bow their knee before me.
- He said to me, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
- He even gave me his daughter as wife.
I was thirty years old at this time.
My Greatest Joy
Yes, I was overjoyed when all of these were happening. I felt like God had honoured me for my innocence and obedience to Him. I refused to do the great wickedness Potiphar’s wife wanted me to commit against my God. Did I mention that Potiphar would now report to me?
I watched my dream come to pass right before my eyes when my brothers bowed before me as they came to buy food. But my greatest joy was when I reunited with my family. At my request, my entire family moved over to be with me in Egypt. All my family except my mother who had died years ago while having Benjamin.
All of these happened because I refused to take my eyes off God and the teachings of my father. I refused to sin against God even under pressure. I went to prison for something I did not do yet I stuck to worshipping God. what the enemy had meant for evil, God had turned it around for my good.
My name is Joseph son of Israel, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of God.
Culled from the story of Joseph as recorded in Genesis 37, 39-47
What are your thoughts on Joseph and his story?
Do you think we can stay faithful to God in hard times?
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2018