The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Joseph...A Life of Integrity

"And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a band of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead....What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come let us sell him to the Ishmaelites" (Gen. 37:25-27).

Joseph was born to Rachel and Jacob and was their eleventh child. (Jacob's first with Rachel) He was favored by Jacob, which did not sit well with his ten older brothers. Their hostile feelings reached a boiling point as they plotted to kill him and set up a lie for their dad. Money reared it's ugly head and Joseph was sold into bondage to some traders headed to Egypt. For those who know the story, Joseph's unique God-given talents eventually made him a rousing success in Egypt, and he was put in charge of gathering food because of an upcoming famine that God had revealed to him. During the famine, who should appear at his doorstep for food but his brothers. They didn't recognize him, but after a while he revealed who he was. Can you imagine how afraid they were! They had sold him into bondage and told their dad that he had been killed by a wild beast. Retribution would surely follow.

We see snippets of Joseph's integrity all along in this story, but our lesson is still ahead..The brothers, though he had treated them well, thought that when their dad died that Joseph would exact his revenge. His words to them say all that we need to know about this man of character. "But Joseph said to them, 'Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.' He reassured them and spoke kindly to them." (Gen 50: 19-21). Joseph had much to be bitter about in his life. But his fidelity to God saw him through and paid off. He lived a good and comfortable life but there is certainly more. As he grew, he matured both in mind, character, integrity and judgement. His gratitude for the good things that God blessed him with far outweighed in his mind the bad things that had been done to him. Is that how we feel? Can we get over the negatives of life and latch on to those blessings of God. Can we be the model of forgiveness that Joseph was and allow God to work in us for the good? It is an attainable challenge...

Have a great beginning to your week....Start it out with a RAK or two....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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