Joseph’s Tears

Joseph Accused by Potiphar’s Wife by Rembrandt. Source: WikiArt

“Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”

Genesis 40:14,15

How Joseph would have cried! How he must have longed for home! How he would have prayed for God to deliver him from slavery and restore him to his family.

It was an appalling situation, one he was simply helpless to change. He had been kidnapped by his own brothers and sold off to slave traders. He had been falsely accused by his master’s wife. And now he was in jail. So he shared his plight with someone he hoped could be of help in getting a word to Pharaoh and possibly getting him out.

Alas, it didn’t happen. At least not until two years later, and not in the way he had expected.

God had other plans. And that’s the point of the story.

As he would realize much later, Joseph was sent ahead for the protection of the very family he loved and the deliverance of the same brothers who rejected him.

Though he was released from prison, he never got sent back home. Instead his entire family came over to Egypt to meet him. This was God’s plan all along (Genesis 15:12-14).

The story of Joseph in many respects points forward to Jesus Christ who was rejected by his own, yet was offered up for their salvation.  It looks forward to our betrayal and his forgiveness.

And it also speaks directly to the despairing believer.

I wonder what discomfort you are seeking God’s relief from. You have prayed and prayed and prayed. Still nothing. Not a hint of rescue. Please don’t despair. Trust in God. As long as you have been reconciled to God through Christ, he has you in his hands.  He has a purpose in the pain.

Perhaps there is something he wants to accomplish in others through your situation. Perhaps there is a change he will effect in your community or the world as a result of your cross. Regardless, your crushing will foster your sanctification as it draws you to cast yourself upon your Creator and Redeemer. It will work faith and hope in you, as you look to God for his redemption of all things. And it will ultimately glorify God as it draws praise from you and works joy in you.


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