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Monday, January 25, 2010

Joseph, continued

I thought I'd said all I wanted to say about him. I was wrong.

I few other reasons I like Joseph:

1) He was honest/ trustworthy. These two go together in my book. He kept getting put in charge of people and things, and his bosses never worried about anything he was in charge of (we're told that three times about three different guys: Potiphar, the warden, and Pharaoh). Dave Ramsey would call that "stupid," but it kept happening. Even Jacob practically put him in charge of his older brothers. That's not only why they sold him into slavery but how they were able to to do it - it was Joseph's honest nature that sent him into harm's way (he couldn't make up something to tell his father) and his trustworthy nature that prevented him from seeing the real danger he was in from his own brothers.

2) He was hard-working. When his dad asked for that report on his brothers, Joseph kept going so he could finish the task. A lazy boy would have stopped looking when his brothers weren't where they were supposed to be. Joseph searched for them. When, as a slave, he enters Potiphar's house, he starts working and works so well Potiphar puts a slave in charge of everything. Same thing happens at the jail. Once more for Pharaoh. Joseph does everything as to the Lord, no matter who he's working for. Genesis tells us God prospers him for it.

3) He was monogamous. Maybe this is an Egyptian cultural thing and Joseph didn't have any control over it, but he's the first guy in four generations to be happy with just the one wife. Even his grandfather Abraham took Sarah's maid as a wife and sired Ishmael. Since God planned humans to be monogamous (only Adam and Eve, remember?), it's nice to see one of our heroes living up to that standard.

4) He was tender-hearted. I cry when Joseph cries, so I cry a lot reading his story. He cries when he meets his brothers, when he meets Benjamin, when he reveals himself to his brothers, when his father shows up after all those years. As Nick Parker would say, "A real man isn't afraid to cry." Joseph was a real man.

5) He had complete faith in God. Joseph is also the first guy in four generations to trust that God will take care of him even if he tells the truth. Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister, Isaac lied about Rebekah being his sister, Jacob lied about everything, pretty much, and yet those are the guys held up as models of faith. I think Joseph should get that prize. But what do I know? I'm just a turtle.

I'm probably done for now. We've entered Exodus in our daily readings, and Moses is a whole other pan of flatbread.

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