God Is Merciful and Compassionate
As always, God was merciful and compassionate. He cared for the family of Jacob. For the ten who planned the evil deed, He had mercy and kept them from doing murder. For Joseph, He had mercy and preserved his life. For the family He had mercy and provided a way for the future.
God shows His mercy to people, but we learn from the lives of the prophets that He must always judge evil. He must bring people to recognize sin and its results. We find in the account of Joseph this truth repeated. Sin brought trouble, but God provided deliverance.
Although he showed the human weakness of pride, Joseph was a person who had faith in God and served Him well. God allowed him to suffer, not to punish him, but to bring him closer to Himself. Also He wanted Joseph to grow strong and wise for the work that was to come. Joseph went into the pasture not knowing his brothers planned to kill him.
“Let’s not kill him,” said the oldest brother, the one responsible for him. “We can throw him into the well.” They stripped off his shirt to smear it with blood, so Jacob would believe a wolf had eaten him. They threw him into the empty well.
But then a band of traders came by. “Why not sell him as a slave?” one suggested. “That way we can get him out of our lives and make some profit, too.” So they pulled him out and sold him for a paltry price. He was taken away into Egypt.
Joseph did not go into Egypt alone. God was there with him, caring for him and guiding him. His life was not to be ruled by some chance destiny over which there was no control. He was conscious that God’s care and love were similar to a father’s concern for his son.
Even though other people treated him as a slave, he felt this close relationship with God. God would not forget him. God had preserved his life for a purpose. He did this by directing circumstances to bring about His will. Now Joseph knew that all circumstances of his life could be trusted to the wisdom and compassion of God.
For You To Do
Choose the letters which indicate correct answers.
In order to preserve Joseph, God worked through:
a) A sympathetic brother.
b) Joseph’s cry for help.
c) Desire for profit.
d) An empty well.
e) A band of traders.