We talked last week about coincidences that become “God-incidences.” If ever there were a series of God-incidents, it would be in the life of Joseph, one of my favorite characters.
Let’s jump right into the beginning of his story.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers… and he [Joseph] brought a bad report about them [the brothers.] Genesis 37:2
Okay, we’re off to a bad start. Tattling on your brothers isn’t a good way to win friends and influence people. Besides that, we have the fact that father Jacob is partial to this special son of Rachel, complete with the multi-colored robe episode. Added to that is the dream that Joseph generously reports to his brothers. You know, the one about Joseph’s sheaf of grain standing up and their sheaves all bowing to his sheath. There’s no brotherly love going on here. More like brotherly hate.
He even shares another dream—this one with father Jacob.
“…and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” Genesis 37:9
Immediately, Jacob sees the meaning. “Are you trying to tell me that your mother and I and your brothers will be bowing down to you?” Jacob rebukes him, but;
… his father kept the matter in mind. Gen. 37:11
This reminds me of Mary, “pondering these things in her heart.” Love those “pondering” moments.
Scene 2: The brothers are off grazing the flocks of sheep. Jacob hasn’t seen them for a several days and decides to send Joseph to check on them. Talk about sending the sheep into the wolves. (Jacob must be getting old and forgetful or just hasn’t a clue.)
Joseph sets off, but can’t find the brothers. Here comes God-incident number one. You see, for better or worse, God does have a plan and it includes getting Joseph to the brothers.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me were they are grazing their flocks?”
“They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’ “ Gen. 37:15-17
God’s plan is already set in motion. Here is a man who comes at just the right time to find Joseph wandering around looking for his brothers. The man has no idea what lies ahead for Joseph and Joseph certainly has no idea either, but his life will never be the same.
As God works out his will in our lives, it comes one step at a time. He places events, people, thoughts in our minds, even dreams to bring about his purposes for us. Our part is to be looking.
Next week, the plot definitely thickens! (Dum – dee-dum – dum…)
~ Joyce ~