Day 8 – December 8
Ornament – Coat of Many Colors
Marked for murder, left for dead, nearly rescued, just to be sold into slavery. Though Joseph’s life story sounds like a script for Hollywood, it reminds us that God’s plan is far more exciting than anything man can make up.
Joseph’s brothers didn’t like him very much. Jacob’s favor of him made them feel forgotten. As Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s covenant became tangible through a robe full of color, the more visible his condition appeared to his brothers. For though he carried a great gift, he had not yet learned how to wield it. Favor turned to pride, and the forgotten brothers fought to be remembered. Though the brothers were not unified in their plans and schemes, they agreed on one thing: Joseph had to go.
A series of miscalculations and missteps followed, and the boy once enslaved by his brother’s hatred and jealousy, was released into another captivity. Though bound to spice traders, he was truly captured by a relentless God who would resurrect him, once he was willing to die.
As Joseph’s new life began, life as they knew it ended for the brothers. For the murder in their hearts and the fear of being discovered kept them from truly living. In silence and strain, they handed Joseph’s blood-stained robe to their father, terrified their deceit would be revealed. Their world became a tomb, just as Joseph was being resurrected.
Joseph would be used to intervene in the life of a nation. But Pappa definitely dealt with the stones that made his heart a grave. Before he could be used to change the course of a nation, the stones needed to be rolled away.
The spices the Ishmaelites carried were used for burial. It seems Joseph was destined to die, but this was a death that would lead to resurrection. Joseph was positioned and imprisoned, but no matter what the condition, his covenant flourished, just as those around him prospered. Honored and humbled, Joseph began to live as the man he was meant to be and for the One that came to mean everything to him.
But Adonai was with Joseph, showing him mercy and giving him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. The prison keeper made Joseph supervisor of all the prisoners in the prison; so that whatever they did there, he was in charge of it. Genesis 39:22
There’s that word again, favor. In Hebrew the word is ‘ken’ and carries the meaning “consideration or favor.” But to get to the fuller meaning, we need to dig down to the very seed of the word and see what is awaiting inside. Dug deep, we find ‘ken’ means “trust or trusted”. Joseph’s brothers weren’t threatened because Jacob liked the next to the youngest better, but because he trusted him thoroughly.
The keeper of the prison didn’t just find fondness for Joseph. He trusted him. This trust led the steward to position Joseph as his assistant. Most likely, this meant he became the chief scribe of the prison and kept account of all that happened there.
Joseph, imprisoned because of Potiphar’s lack of trust, was now trusted utterly enough to upend a few things, like the freedom of a cupbearer, the fate of a nation and the resurrection of a quiver of brothers.
Years before, those brothers didn’t trust what Joseph would do with what Heaven was handing him or Jacob had given him. Now, as Joseph realized that not once had his life been taken from him, he was ready to lay it down for those he loved. His brothers were about to be freed from their self-imposed lockdown and restored to life.
Joseph’s story is an appetizer at the banqueting table, a foretaste of the One who would lay His life down so all could be resurrected. Joseph’s torn and tattered garment simply foretold of a robe to come covered in the Blood of resurrection, redemption and restoration. What a robe! One that makes us seamless and spotless.
I grew up going to a tiny church in a tiny town. But in that small space, we sang great big hymns! I love hymns and the musical liturgies they are, so much. One of my favorites (though I’ll admit you may need a 96-year-old pianist, missing a few keys and singing at the top of her lungs, to enjoy it as I did in those days) is Because He Lives.
The chorus resounding from a little band of people, who believed really big, would nearly raise the roof!
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth living, just because He lives.”
Because He lives, I can . . .
I love filling in the blank of that line. Because that’s what resurrection truly does, isn’t it?! It fills the void we make with our missed marks and major messes. The dark may reveal what we are afraid of, but the light, oh my, it speaks right to what we are created to live for. It brings life to our longing. Vast voids begin to fill with what really is, if we will let it be. If we will let there be light!
Maybe we can’t truly grasp the power of His resurrection until we’ve attended a burial or two of our own and realize how much we want to be raised to life!!
Yeshua said to her, “I Am the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts their trust in me will live, even if he dies.” John 11:25