If there’s a story in the Bible that illustrates how God can work through challenging circumstances, and life’s most painful experiences to beautifully fulfill a dream or vision, then it has to be the story of Joseph. The young man, only seventeen, starts out being sold as a slave and ends up second-in-command of all ancient Egypt.
It is easy for us to breeze through the Biblical narrative and not really think about what Joseph must have gone through. We may also take for granted the way God promoted him because we do not think about life in the context of that time.
As I typed-out the pages of the book I marveled at the trust and faithfulness he showed. His God did not disappoint him. Several years after he had been brought to Egypt, he stood next to Pharaoh as lord of all ancient Egypt.
Excerpt from Joseph Of Egypt
From Chapter One: One ‘Ordinary’ Day
Joseph eventually reached his brothers, and as the greeting came out of his mouth, they seized him. He was bewildered when the men proceeded to violently strip him of his coat with a fierce glare in their eyes. They dragged him towards the dried-up well in his inner tunic. When he realized what they intended to do, he cried out in fear, but they dropped him into the pit and Joseph fell several feet down. He landed at the bottom of the well, his fall cushioned by the moistened earth. He could feel his heart pounding fast. He knew the brothers hated him but this was something he had never anticipated. They were now high up at the mouth of the well looking down at him. He pleaded with them not to abandon him but he got no answer. Suspecting they were upset about something, he offered to do anything they asked—whatever it was.
As he continued to plead, he saw what he feared most: they moved away from the well without saying a word. The pit was deep and its walls slippery it was therefore impossible to get out without any assistance. He kept calling out to the men even when they were out of sight. The echoes of his voice rung in the pit, and when he had begged so many times and got no answer, he began to despair.
By this time, the brothers had moved away from the well and gone under a tree shade to have their noontime meal. Although they accomplished exactly what they wanted, they did not feel the satisfaction of vengeance they had anticipated. Instead, for most of them, there was guilt; this was especially true for Judah. Joseph’s teary pleas had moved him and he only imagined how much worse it would feel if they left him to die.
As though someone had been listening to Judah’s thoughts, movement on a hill in the distance caught their attention. When they looked up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelite merchants carrying their wares on camels. They seemed to come at just the right time; Judah instantly came up with an idea. Instead of letting Joseph die in the pit, they could sell him to the merchants and be rid of him without causing any death and having to bear the guilt thereof. Judah spoke to his brothers, “What gain shall we have if we kill our brother and conceal his death? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelite merchantmen and let not our hand be upon him for he is our brother and our flesh.” They all agreed. Secretly within them there was relief, it was better that no life be lost.
They stood by and waited for the caravan to pass near them. The merchants shortly arrived and the brothers hailed the men to stop. They obliged and all the camels were made to kneel. The leader of the merchants walked towards the sons of Jacob.
The tradesmen’s chief was a lean but firm man with a great beard. His head was covered with a lengthy black cloth wrapped around several times. He had a complexion browned by the sun, eyes wrinkled by glare and a face as rough as the numerous journeys he had made. He wore a large dark robe reaching his feet, and had a dagger tucked under the skin belt around his waist. The camels behind him carried an assortment of spices, balm and plenty of myrrh. The other merchants (who were dressed like their leader) looked on as he spoke to the brothers.
The merchant leader asked to see Joseph and Judah led him towards the well. The man looked down and inside—to the bottom. He wanted to have a better look at the boy. Joseph could only wonder who this man was and why he looked into the pit.