"'Yes,' he said, 'it is my son's robe.
A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!'
Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.
'I will go to my grave mourning for my son,' he would say, and then he would weep.
Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potipher was captain of the palace guard."
Genesis 37:33-36 NLT (emphasis, mine)
The story of Joseph is no newbie for me. In fact, it's always been one of my favorites.
I love the themes of God's sovereignty and redemption, weaved throughout.
Of all the times I've read this story, I've always related to Joseph, and Joseph's trials. But, honestly, I don't think I ever saw myself in Jacob... until now.
Jacob, too, had endured many trials at this point. Most recently, the death of his own wife. And now, his admittedly favorite son (from his now-deceased wife) is assumed dead.
Jacob is mourning. Greatly.
As I read the words, "I will go to my grave mourning for my son", I understood Jacob's despair.
I haven't lost a son, and don't pretend to understand that level of pain. But I'm at a point in life where, most days, I feel like I'm standing in a graveyard of dreams.
I find myself asking God, "What are you doing in my life? I'm walking in obedience, I'm seeking You, but I don't see the plan in all this."
The "death" of Jacob was tragic... and seemingly purposeless.
But then a word grabbed me...
Suddenly, we see what is happening behind the scenes-- the part that Jacob cannot see:
"Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, and officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard."
I forget about the meanwhile.
The meanwhile is unseen during the trial, and only understood in hindsight.
The meanwhile is where faith comes in.
2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us, "...we live by believing and not by seeing."
What "death" am I sitting around mourning, meanwhile God is at work, using it for my good, working out every detail of my future?
Where has He called me to trust Him in faith, when everything my eyes observe tell me He's not trustworthy?
As for Jacob and Joseph (SPOILER ALERT), God's placement of Joseph in Pharaoh's court led to event after event; which led to his promotion; which led to him being put in charge of Egypt; which eventually led to the salvation of his family during an extreme drought that would have wiped them off the face of the planet. Crazy!
God used Joseph to preserve his family line... (another spoiler alert:) which eventually led to the birth of Jesus, Himself. Even crazier!
Who would have guessed?
I love what Isaiah 45:15 tells us, in The Message translation:
"Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes, God of Israel, Savior God."
He is faithful. He is good. He is trustworthy.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
I've seen it in my life before, and I know I'll see it again. (Just not right now.)
In the meantime... there's hope in the meanwhile.
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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