Fools never learn. Smart people learn from their own mistakes. Wise people learn from other people’s mistakes. – Otto von Bismarck (?).
Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Joseph is born in Genesis Chapter 30 and the narrative of his life develops on to the end of Genesis. His body was carried out when Moses went to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt slaves to the Land of Milk and Honey. These stories are mostly about their relationship to each other and with God. They all lied, manipulated, and cheated just like us, — human beings. Someone said that Jacob put a “func” in the word, “dysfunction”. Interesting to watch God at work. He chose and developed a small nation of Israel for himself. God always choose the least, the smallest, the rejected, and build a person according to his will. This makes me understand clearly Romans 8:28… “All things work together for good…”
As Christians, we are to bless Abraham and his people Israel if we want to be blessed (Genesis 12).
Jacob loved Joseph more because he was born to him in his old age. (the story begins in Genesis 37). An incredible story of Joseph that taught me about life and relationships — how to survive after they throw you out to dry. Jacob made him a coat of many colors because he was a special son. And his brothers were so jealous of him, so they took his coat of many colors and dumped him in a dry cistern. Sometimes God is in everything… the dry cistern? I mean he could have drowned if the cistern had water. They later sold him to the Ishmaelites. I’m looking at Joseph and his agility to survive. He never asked for his coat back when they sold him to slave traders. Then he was sold to Potiphar where he worked faithfully as if he was working for GOD. When Mrs. Potiphar tore his garment because he ran out instead of sleeping with her, he never went back for his coat. There’s something about this 17 year old boy that taught me deep things in life… it’s really not what I wear, who are my friends and whatever that make me. It’s what’s within me – my heart and soul. No matter what his brothers did, he believed in his heart that he was special and with his heart, he never allowed his feelings to interfere with his purpose, his dreams. Even though he didn’t quite know what his purpose was, Joseph trusted God and remained faithful to the God of his father, Jacob.
It’s easy for us to read the stories of the Old Testament and see where Joseph was going. Not in real life. Just as Joseph didn’t understand why his brothers are so jealous of him… he hasn’t done anything so great or wonderful, still within himself he knew he was special in the heart of his father that made him faithful to God (The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). His words to Potiphar’s wife echoes the halls of time in his response to the woman: “No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
Even in the midst of his dysfunctional family, Jacob offered sacrifices to God with his family wherever he went. He must have reminded his sons of how God appeared to his grandfather Abraham and told him to go to a land unknown. He must have heard his father Isaac talk about how his parents had him against all odds… a 90 year old mother and a hundred year old Abraham.
It’s been said, “God may not always be on time, but he is never late.”

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