I recently had the opportunity to read Dr. Barker’s book, “Joseph’s Divine Perspective .” I was impressed by the format and the ease of reading. The book was divided into different chapters, which gave me an opportunity to learn more about Joseph. There were beautiful pictures that were inserted into the chapters that were easy to read. The author used Scripture to give us a better understanding of Joseph’s life and how his story connected to the readers own lives.
Joseph was born in the year 1553 B.C.A.D. He was the 7th son of Jacob and Rachel. His birth was foretold in the Book of Genesis chapter 37 verse 36 and 37. Joseph was not thought to be a blessing by his father Jacob, nor his mother Rachel. No one in the family even knew that he was going to be born, or that he was going to be a future leader of the people of Israel.
Dr. Gary Baker is a freelance columnist for The and Paso Robles Press; you can e-mail him at [email protected]
One of the most comforting truths of the Bible is that God has a wonderful plan for the life of every believer. Theologians call it a decree of God; the popular mind calls it the will of God. The Bible teaches that God, in His omniscience and omnipotence, gives counsel to the believer who wants to do God’s will. These truths were expressed in the life of the Old Testament patriarch Joseph. He was sold by his brothers as a slave in Egypt and later became a prisoner. God gave Joseph the opportunity to explain two dreams that Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had about future prosperity and famine in Egypt. Thereupon Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his prime minister, responsible for the storage and sale of the grain when the seven years of famine came. This famine brought Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph had not seen his brothers for over twenty years, and when they met Joseph they did not recognize him, but Joseph knew who they were.
Through a series of events Joseph plotted, his brothers acknowledged their past sin against him. In a personal meeting with all his brothers, Joseph personally revealed his true identity (Genesis 45:1-4). When this happened, his brothers were horrified by his presence. I’m sure they were afraid of what Joseph would do to them as Prime Minister who had the power to execute them all. Joseph’s gracious response to their fear is one of the greatest examples of kindness and forgiveness recorded in the Bible (Genesis 45:5-8). Joseph did not seek revenge or punishment because God gave him a divine perspective on the events of his life. It was God’s responsibility to send him to Egypt to preserve and promote the lives of his family. God raised Joseph to the position of prime minister so that he would be a source of great blessing to his family. Joseph wept with great joy as he returned to his beloved father. Joseph’s plan, approved by Pharaoh, was to bring his entire family to Egypt and settle them in the fertile land of Goshen. Joseph told his brothers to return to Canaan and inform his father Jacob of his plans. Joseph would become a great deliverer and breadwinner for his family (Genesis 45:9-28).
Lessons to be learned
- God’s divine plan for the believer will control everything that happens in his life.
- God’s divine plan can transform seemingly evil and harmful things into beneficial and blessed things.
- God’s divine plan gives the believer the assurance that all things will end well for those who love and serve God (Genesis 45:5-7; Romans 8:28).
- A godly outlook on life will keep the believer from taking revenge and will create in his life a spirit of good and merciful forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:31-32). A godly view of life will give the believer peace, joy, and freedom from fear.
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