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Joseph

His name means: "May He [the Lord] Add"

His work: As governor of Egypt he saved many lives, including those of his own family, thus preserving God's people during a time of famine.
His character: Other than committing the youthful indiscretion of sharing dreams that made his brothers jealous, it is hard to find fault with Jacob's favorite son, Joseph. A dreamer and an interpreter of dreams, he overcame great adversity to rise to a place of prominence and power in the land of Egypt. A great-hearted man, God blessed him with wisdom and success.
His sorrow: To have been sold into slavery by brothers who hated him and to have been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
His triumph: To be reconciled with his brothers and reunited with his father and then to be used by God to preserve their lives and the lives of many others.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 37, 39-50

A Look at the Man

After suffering so much misfortune, Joseph prospered in remarkable ways, governing the land he had entered as a slave and being reunited with his family. It's almost a storybook ending, in which the hero lives happily ever after. God's hand of blessing was so firmly on Joseph that nothing could keep him down—not the jealousy of his brothers, not slavery, not false accusations, not imprisonment. He was like the bar of soap that keeps rising to the top no matter how many times it's shoved beneath the water.

Was there something about Joseph that made it easy for God to bless him? Consider his position in Potiphar's house and his response to Potiphar's wife's attempt to seduce him: "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?"

Now consider the first temptation of the first man, Adam: "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die'" (Genesis 2:15-17). Like Joseph, Adam was put in charge of everything. His master, God, had withheld nothing from him, except one thing—fruit from a tree in Eden. But, unlike Joseph, it was the one thing Adam could not refuse himself. And his disobedience ruined him for paradise.

It seems clear that obedience is a key to experiencing God's blessing. A life of obedience, coupled with God's power, is what enabled Joseph to provide deliverance for so many people. A life of obedience is what enabled Jesus to restore our relationship with God and open the gates of paradise. Like Jesus and like Joseph, we all are called to counter Adam's sin by living our life in loving obedience to God, realizing that his blessings are a taste of the paradise that awaits us.

Reflect On: Genesis 45:1–13
Praise God: Because he can use what others intend for evil to accomplish great good.
Offer Thanks: For his persistent blessings.
Confess: Any tendency to doubt God’s love because you equate blessing with ease.
Ask God: To make you a person whose life will bless many others.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.

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