Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Joseph's Immaturity

We've all heard the story of Joseph and his "coat of many colors". Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob and his favorite, the first child from his favorite wife Rachel who died while bearing his brother Benjamin. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son and it was certainly no secret around the family...his brothers hated him because he was the favorite. He seemed to get all the breaks and Jacob didn't hide his special love for Joseph.

Often Jacob would send young (17) Joseph out to the fields to tell his brothers something or to check up on them. One day the brothers rose up against him and were going to kill him, but didn't (at the direction of Rueben, the oldest, who was probably just trying to gain pleasure before his father). Joseph ends up being sold as a slave and separated from his family for many years, thought dead.

I used to think that Joseph was the complete victim of circumstances beyond his control here, I mean I know that God had a plan for him and that all of the things that happened were part of that plan. However, I think about a typical young "squirt" that has realized that he has potential and that has been given some power over others around him that are older and wiser. Joseph probably that he was "all that", I mean why wouldn't he? Jacob was feeding it to him on a silver platter. It seemed as though Jacob had great things planned for his favorite son, but had not thought to tell anyone else about it. So, when Joseph takes his father-inspired gusto and tells his older, wiser, stronger brothers how it's going to be he was in for some trouble. Yes, in a way, he was setup (be it by accident or by Jacob's unwillingness to ease back on his favoritism) , but he should have seen it coming.

Why didn't Joseph feel funny about telling his brothers how things were going to be or checking up on them? I think...maybe he was a bit star-struck in his youth...weren't we all?

In the end, Joseph ended up becoming a great man and I feel certain that part of the reason is that he had to because of the situation he found himself in. The other reason is that God was with him.

"...the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did." Genesis 39:23

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18