I read the story of Joseph again this year, and completely fell in love with this story. I picked up on some really amazing truths that I think we can all apply to our lives.
Here are some lessons from the life of Joseph that I have learned.
Joseph was a beautiful person.
In Genesis 39:6 the Bible says about Joseph, “And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”
When I looked up the definition of “goodly” in my Websters 1828 Dictionary, this is how it defines the word: “figure or appearance: beautiful, comely, countenance, fair…”
The word “favoured” was defined as the follows: “a view; an appearance; a shape, comeliness, or a vision. Well- beautiful, pleasant, well properly, to be bright, make self fair; deck.
I think it is very interesting that God chose to describe about Joseph that he was a beautiful person. Since I have been reading through Genesis, God defines many others as beautiful as well. When I read about beauty in the Bible, I am always intrigued to study more. How is beauty defined? What is beauty? What made Joseph so beautiful?
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary also says about beauty, “Beauty armed with virtue, bows the soul, with a commanding, but a sweet control. The beauty of a machine is not perceived until we understand its uses, and adaption to its purpose.”
I recently did a study on vines and vineyards because in Psalms the Bible mentions the wife being as a fruitful vine. One thing interesting about vines and vineyards are that they are extremely flexible to their environment. They can practically live anywhere and in any condition except for Antarctica. I thought one thing that radiates strength and beauty is a woman who is content in her many different environments. We must learn how to cultivate beauty in so many undesirable and uncontrollable situations.
Joseph was hated because of his dreams, talents, and favor he received from others.
You see, regardless of the many different and difficult circumstances Joseph faced, he remained strong and full of purpose. Genesis 37:4-5, 8, 10-11,
“And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him,
and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?
And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him,
and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed?
Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
And his brethren envied him: but his father observed the saying.”
So, let me ask this. Who was it that gave Joseph these dreams? God did.
Joseph was hated, rebuked, and envied by his own family. It’s hard enough when the world hates you, but it’s even more gut wrenching when your family is not on your side. We should always treat our family with the upmost respect. We never know who is among us. We know that Joseph’s dream interpretations saved his whole country and the lives of his family later on.
We see that Joseph was hated; yet we do not see that Joseph responded to the hatred in a negative way. Joseph could have lashed out at his family, he could have run away from home; but Joseph continued. He continued to keep a beautiful spirit. How do I know this?
Genesis 37:13, “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.
And he said to him, Here am I.
Joseph did not have a spirit of retaliation.
When Joseph was asked to go check on his brothers (the ones who hated him), Joseph responded with an obedient spirit.
Every time the Lord sees His children mistreated, He begins his recompense promise. When we take matters into our own hands by returning hatred, we negate the opportunity for the Lord to do His work in recompensing the evil done to us.
Proverbs 20:22 says, “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.”
Joseph had such a close walk with Lord, he knew in his heart his actions were pure.
“But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
…because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
…also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.”
(Genesis 39:21, 23; 40:15)
Regardless of what happens in our lives, we must remain faithful to walk closely to the Lord and trust Him in all things. The Lord desires to think “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11) I love meditating on this verse when I begin to lose faith in the Lord’s plan for my life. Joseph remained pure in his actions, even though it could have been so easy to give in to Pharaoh’s wife.
Joseph realized the importance of his outward appearance.
“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon:
and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharoah.”
Joseph could have played the pity card with Pharaoh, and gone in to talk to him looking a mess; but he respected Pharaoh’s position. We should take care of our appearance out of respect for others and ourselves. I have read from successful people that you are more likely to gain a job from an interview by dressing up. We should realize the importance of representing Christ well. Yes, the Lord looks on the inside, but a lost and dying world only sees the outside.
Joseph had the Spirit of God.
“And Pharoah said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
When we walk close to the Lord, others should sense the Lord’s presence from our lives. This is the greatest and most beautiful attribute that a woman can possess. Outward beauty ages and will fade away, whereas a woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised. So, many times I feel that I am unworthy to be someone who radiates the Spirit of God, but as I am walking with the Lord I am reminded of this verse,
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Joseph was known for being wise and discreet.
Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream and not only that; he gave Pharaoh a game plan to see that his country would be taken care of. Joseph told Pharoah to set a wise man over all the crops and store up a part for the famine to come. Pharaoh did just that, and promoted Joseph to be the second ruler over the whole land. Joseph was spiritually wise, but also put it to practical use. Joseph was a businessman also. It’s amazing when you walk with the Lord at how he gives you wisdom in so many other areas of your life also.
Joseph embraced his pain and affliction, and let God use it for His good and His glory.
This is one of my favorite points! Joseph did not back down from his pain of rejection from his family. He did not cower down and let insecurities get the better of him. He became fruitful in spite of his afflictions.
Joseph learned how to capitalize on his hurt, and work harder towards bigger picture vision.
“And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.
And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
I hope these lessons from the life of Joseph will help you as much as they have helped me. I love you all! If these thoughts have encouraged you, please like and share to your social media accounts.:)