Genesis 50:18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face and they said “Behold we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it doe good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Just before the new year, an old classmate of ours, decided to make a confession in our Old Boys chat room, that when he was in his final year of school, his sister and brother in law decided to migrate to Australia without him. His mother died at age 32 and later on his father. He and the sister were orphaned at a young age. It came as a shock to us but a relieve to him when he could finally share this fact with us because he had no one to spill out this burden he had in him all his life. He felt so abandoned. We didn’t even realize as his schoolmates that he was living alone in a rented room and was on his own until he went off to finally become a schoolteacher.
As I read the life of Joseph, son of Jacob, I was reminded of my schoolmate’s story. It was about abandonment. At a young age, Joseph already knew that he was destined to be great after his two dreams in which he was kind of boastful about them and for which he earned the rebuke of both his brothers and parents.
His first experience of abandonment came when his brothers decided to sell him off to some Ishmaelite traders and lied to his father Jacob that he was killed by a wild animal. In Joseph’s heart, the anger and bitterness must have festered in him for many years because he was made a slave to some foreigners. However, he was promoted to take charge over Potipher’s household when he showed himself capable only to be betrayed by Potipher’s wife who lusted for him and when he rejected her, he was accused of sexual assault and thrown into prison. Again in prison he was shown favor by the prison warden and was made to play a significant role in prison. One day he was able to interpret the dreams of two of the king’s servant, a cupbearer and a cook. He interpreted both the dreams correctly and again was played out by the cupbearer who had promised to speak on behalf of Joseph when he was freed but apparently forgot all about it. He was kept in prison for another 2 years until Pharaoh had a dream in which all the wise men in the land could not interpret and when the cupbearer remembered Joseph, he told the Pharaoh. We know how Joseph was able to interpret the Pharaohs dream and for that he was immediately promoted to be the no.2 in the land next to Pharaoh.
From the position of abandonment, Joseph was exalted to be the most powerful man in the whole of Egypt after the Pharaoh. However, in between Joseph suffered 22 years of slavery, humiliation and suffering. However, he did not give up because in his heart he knew that he was destined for greater things and so he endured and even found the grace to forgive his siblings.
Today, you may be facing some form of abandonment by a love one, your best friend, your boss or even your nation. I encourage you not to give up but continue to persevere because this whole journey is one of preparation for you to do greater works than you will ever know or imagine. God will never leave us in a lurch when we have HIM as our No. 1 priority in life. In fact, some people wonder why they are going through hell in spite of being a believer. Can I suggest you re-examine your priority? Who is No.1 in your life? Your job, your children, your business, your friends or your God and if you say it is God then are you living your life in HIM or off HIM? Are you worshipping HIS blessings only or are you worshipping the Blesser?