A surgeon, an engineer, and a politician were debating which of their professions was the oldest. The surgeon said, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that, of course, was a surgical procedure. Obviously, surgery is the oldest profession.” The engineer countered with, “Yes, but before that, order was created out of chaos, and that most certainly was an engineering job.” The politician smiled and said triumphantly, “Aha! And just who do you think created the chaos?”
Joseph’s brothers sure did create chaos for Joseph! They threw him in a pit – a dried up water hole used for watering sheep. Then they sold him as a slave. Placed on an auction block, the favored son of Joseph was inspected like a animal, bartered over, and sold to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. However, the Bible tells us, “But the Lord was with Joseph” and everything Joseph did God caused him to prosper so that Potiphar made Joseph over his entire household. But chaos wasn’t finished in Joseph’s life. Potiphar’s wife takes a “liking” to Joseph and when Joseph refuses her invitation and flees he leaves behind his cloak when she then uses it to falsely cry “Rape” and the cloak becomes her “proof” to her claim. Joseph is then thrown into prison. Again the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39: 21-22).
No matter what chaos the people in Joseph’s life created, God was behind every evil intent to bring about a plan to save many people from an extensive famine. God give Pharaoh two dreams that trouble him and no one in the land of Egypt is able to interpret the dream. However, from the prison days, Joseph had interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. The Butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about the man that had interpreted his dream. Pharaoh summons Joseph and provides the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream while also giving him a game plan for preparing for the famine that God was warning Pharaoh would come. As a result, Pharaoh places Joseph 2nd in command of all of Egypt with only Pharaoh in more power than Joseph.
When the famine is severe, Jacob (Joseph’s father) sends his sons off to Egypt to buy grain so they don’t starve to death. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. He accuses the of being spies and begins testing them. He gives them grain and sends them home but tells them they can’t have more grain if they do not return with the youngest brother (Benjamin – Joseph’s only full-blooded brother). Eventually, when the brother’s return for more grain, Joseph reveals who he is and the brothers become afraid that Joseph will seek revenge. However, Joseph reveals his wisdom and shows that he recognizes how God has been at work in his life all along.
If it were not for the pit, sold as a slave, accused of rape, and thrown in prison, Joseph would not have been placed in a position to save not only his own family of thousands of people from the famine. God used each of these adversities that brought chaos to Joseph so that Joseph would be in the position God needed him. If anyone had the right to sit in corner and have a pity-party – it would be Joseph. Instead, Joseph recognized God at work in his life. He recognized that God made him prosper even in the chaos. When chaos comes knocking at your door, do you run and hide from it or look to see where God is at work? Joseph told his brothers that what they had intended as evil against him, God meant for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Trust God in the chaos and look for where He is at work to make the chaos work together for good.
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