The Story of Joseph in Egypt

Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness ... More

Adversity

The Lord protected his people as they sojourned in other lands (vv. 13-15). The writer traces the events that led to the exile of the patriarchal family from the promised land to their settlement in Egypt. God created a mighty famine in the land of Canaan that drove the chosen people down into Egypt for 400 years (v. 16). God uses the forces of nature to fashion the destiny of men and nations. 

Next, we see how Joseph was a link in the chain of divine providence (v. 17). Men might view Joseph’s life as being sold, but God viewed him as being sent. In this divine process we see Joseph fettered with iron that hurt his feet (v. 18), forgotten in prison for several years, having been falsely accused of molesting his master’s wife (v. 19) and finally freedfor good behavior (v. 20). Whoever God uses greatly He first tests thoroughly. As a teenager, Joseph prophesied through the Spirit that his brothers and father would one day bow down to him, but before that happened, he had to endure much hardship. At eighteen he was sold into slave by his jealous brothers. At thirty he was made to stand before Pharaoh. It’s unknown how long he spent in prison, but he was released in God’s time to fulfill God’s purpose. Pharaoh ordered that Joseph should be released from prison and elevated to be the “master” of his household.

Joseph became Pharaoh’s prime minister which gave him supreme power, second only to that of the Pharaoh himself (vv. 21-22). No doubt there were many in the country who were jealous of Joseph. Seldom if ever has there been a man who rose from such severe adversity to supreme advancement. This was all part of God’s divine program whereby the chosen people might find a refuge in Egypt and thereby develop into a nation. Jacob and his family came and settled in Egypt as foreigners. They entered Egypt as a family and left as a nation whose number frightened the Egyptians (an estimated three million people). The psalmist mentions both the swelling population and their subsequent persecution (vv. 23-25). They were the Lord’s people, so He let them grow “stronger than their enemies.” 

Application

When God allows adversity to come into my life it is for my good (Romans 8:28). It may seem bad at the time, as in the case of Joseph, but in the end, it will prove to be God working. 

Psalms 105:13-25 (English Standard Version)


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