As an attorney, my mind has been “trained” to work a certain way. I will be given a series of cases and be tasked with discerning what overarching legal principle ties them together. When reading Scripture, I often find myself reading several chapters and attempting to decipher what single truth can be used to explain the passage.
The Burning Question
Do you ever read a passage of the Bible and think to yourself, “How did [insert Bible character name] do it? What is the one truth I can learn from this person?” These thoughts enter into my mind regularly. How did Abram have the faith to leave his homeland and kindred? How did Moses have the patience and love to plead with the Lord on behalf of the children of Israel when he came off Mount Sinai to find them worshipping the golden calf? How did Noah work diligently for years when he seemed to be the only one serving God?* And we are just getting started in the book of Genesis!
For me, the most pressing of these “how did they . . .” questions is this: How did Joseph stay faithful to his God in the midst of the constant trials, in a foreign land, and in spite of family betrayal? You might think there are several answers to this question, and there might be, but, I believe there is one Bible truth that explains it all – surviving the betrayal, the false accusation of sexual impropriety, the wrongful imprisonment, the failure of a “friend” to keep his promise. I know men who have endured one or two of these attacks. However, I don’t know anyone who has endured them all – and I cannot imagine enduring them myself.
What Joseph Did NOT Have
Consider for a moment what Joseph did not have. He did not have his family to rely on. There was no older brother to call and no parent from whom to seek wisdom. In fact, his family members were the root cause of the entirety of his trials. Joseph also did not have a synagogue to attend, nor did he have a pastor or priest to guide him. Also, and very importantly, he did not have a copy of the Word of God. We must remember that the Pentateuch was penned by Moses well after Joseph’s death.
What Joseph DID Have
When I look at the testimony Joseph maintained (see Genesis 39:3, 40:8, 41:16), I conclude that the only way Joseph could have maintained his integrity throughout is because he had an intimate, personal walk with God! This thought is challenging. If I was separated from my family, if I had no church to attend and no pastor to counsel with, if I did not even have a copy of the Word of God, how good of a Christian would I be? Imagine that your spiritual health was fully reliant upon nothing other than your time alone with God. Could you “survive”?
I plan to post additional articles that analyze the life of Joseph. But, I do not believe any of them will be more important than this one. Grab this spiritual truth and do not let it go…
in the Christian life, a personal, intimate walk with God is paramount
and the key to surviving anything that Satan can throw at you.
*Many people (mis)read Genesis 6:3 and think it took 120 years for Noah to build the ark. Many Bible scholars believe it did not take nearly that long.