Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
Howdy! We've just been introduced to our new friend, Joseph.
He's a teenager, working in the family business. Let's ask him about his career plans..... "I'm going to be a shepherd like my dad, my granddad, and my great-granddad. After all, they did very well, and had huge flocks and herds, and God blessed them abundantly."
All very true.
If we were to pull up Ancestry on our smart phones that we pulled out from under our robes, we would see that Joseph has a wonderful heritage....
He inherited dignity from Abraham, purity from Isaac, cleverness and tenacity from his dad Jacob, and probably got his attractiveness, humor, and management skills from his mom's side of the family.
So, we can see that God had been preparing the way for Joseph long before he was born, even though he had no idea about his calling in life.
Joseph is a young man from a totally dysfunctional family. We can read in Genesis of parental favoritism, teenage naivete, schemes and intrigue, murder, immorality and prostitution, and more. But no matter what happens to Joseph, we will see him always land on his feet!
Betrayed, he ends up in Egypt.
Throw him in prison, and he ends up "running the joint."
When you travel to Egypt, you discover that he is the prime minister.
Try to trick him, and he sees through it -- and forgives you.
Joseph will become a key link in the chain of thousands of years, that will bring the Messiah to earth.
In the next few weeks, we will try to ignore the fact that we know what the ending of the story will be. We will try to experience our study as Joseph experienced life.....it isn't easy for any of us, and sometimes can be quite difficult!
We will, just as Joseph did, learn to see the work of God in even the small things of life, and we'll learn that Christ is the power to make our lives worthwhile. He lives within us, so He, Himself, is the power that gives meaning and purpose to our lives, and gives us the peace to handle this bumpy ride!
We may have a dysfunctional family, too. Like Joseph, we can be proof that you can come from a crazy, mixed up family and still do amazing things for God! Life is unpredictable, but as we start our study, let's keep one thing in mind: Joseph's God is our God, too. We need a big God; we need a strong God; we need a compassionate, all-knowing God -- and we have one!
Can't wait for our studies next week!