Joseph |

Joseph

by


“Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” “the perfect law of liberty” — and, thus, Joseph set the mighty wheels of the metaphysical law of liberty in motion, through his refusal to complain about his seemingly limiting, imprisoning physical circumstances, and his refusal to bear a grudge against anyone.

Apparently Joseph knew that “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord,” centuries before that scripture was written, and yet his story demonstrates that he was not focused in the least on the subject of visiting vengeance, human or divine, against anyone personally. His words to his astonished brothers after revealing himself to them demonstrate how effortless it was for Joseph to offer a statement of simple kindness, knowing intuitively that “a soft answer breaketh the bone,” centuries before Solomon wrote it: words without a trace of vindictiveness, which can be a greater rebuke than paragraphs shouted in righteous indignation. And it’s pretty obvious that Joseph wasn’t even thinking about rebuking them while speaking those words.

It is noteworthy and fun to read how Joseph was not your typical jailbird, but in fact experienced liberation, even while serving his unjust sentence in an earthly dungeon. The Bible tells us that within a very short time, the warden trusted and respected him so much that he was appointed assistant to the warden(!), who was so convinced of the integrity of his appointee that he didn’t even bother checking on any of Joseph’s activities in that arena. Genesis 39:21-23: “But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison omitted to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.”

To love God with all one’s heart, mind, and strength is to maintain steadfast consciousness of God, not man, in every minute detail of one’s life. Thus, Joseph was focused on God only, not his brothers, and not Potiphar’s wife. It appears that he knew that spending even the least amount of time thinking about the evils and injustices done to him personally was a moment of breaking the First Great Commandment, centuries before it was written. In Genesis 50:20, when replying to his brothers about any supposed evil done to him, he is quick to change the subject — “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” What good? — “this present result, to preserve many people alive.” So Joseph’s great love for God gave him the instinctive understanding to follow the second great commandment, also, centuries before it was written: “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Thus, in the end, God made the wrath of man — the wrath of Joseph’s brothers and the wrath of Potiphar’s wife — to praise Him!