First recorded case of human trafficking.
If you've heard the stories, you gasped. When the stories involve children, you may have wretched or perhaps cried. How could a human being sell a person, made in the image of God, as just another commodity, something of which to rid himself or profit? Turns out, the idea is as old as Moses-older actually.
But first, did Jacob forget? That is hard to believe. Jacob, the one to whom God referred when he identified himself as the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob..." Could he possibly forget how his father, Isaac, had loved his brother Esau more than him? Did he forget the feeling of never measuring up?
Sometimes human nature cracks me up-people with letters after their names with 'new findings'-like pop psychologists claiming breakthrough in the study of dysfunctional families and the ripple effects into next generations. My friends, we have just studied this in the first book of the Bible! The case could not be any more clear than Jacob, grandson of Abraham, who took his childhood wounds and warped lessons into manhood, and then, lo and behold, repeated the cycle! Have mercy.
Jacob's eleventh son was his favorite and everyone knew it. Maybe it was because Joseph was born late in Jacob's life (that was me! My mama had me at 45 years of age, and yep, I was her favorite...ha,ha), or maybe he favored Joseph because he was born to Rachel, the wife he loved so very much, or maybe . . . it was because he was finally getting himself straightened out and he was able to be engaged in Joseph's life.
No matter, Joseph relished his favored status. Rather immature, he tattled on his older brothers' behaviors, which made him not the favorite of his brothers, of course. But the deal breaker, the home wrecker, was when Joseph had one very telling dream . . . and then another . . .
Check this out - his brothers already do not like him, then Joseph tells them his dream 'So Guys, in the future, you're gonna bow down and worship me.' What?! Oh, my goodness, what was he thinking? Scripture tells us the older brothers decide life would just be better off without him in their lives, so they decide to kill him, throwing him in a pit.
Lucky for the boy with the colorful coat, a caravan happens to pass by, so the jealous brothers decide to sell Joseph for 20 pieces of silver. Just like that, headed for Egypt. Trafficked, he was.
But God had a plan . . . and neither those ten brothers or a pit were going to get in the way of God's plan for Joseph. Joseph was not just a dreamer, he was a dreamer given a dream by God.
And when a dream is a God-given dream,
it may not roll out like we think it will,
in the way we think it will, or in the time we think it will . . .
but rest assured, it will come to pass.
Sometimes, in between the dream and the realization of that dream . . . no, WAIT...! Most of the time, in between the God-given dream and the realization of it, there is a process. And thankfully, God does not tell us when he gives us the dream about that, because though the process grows us, it oft ain't pretty.
Joseph's process involved a little foolishness on his part and foul play on his brothers' part but God certainly maintained his part . . . remember, God never lets go of his man, and so God was with Joseph as he went to Egypt.
Where are you? Are you just learning that God has dreams for you - plans and purposes to give you a hope and a future in him?2 Are you in the process of becoming, of getting ready to have his dream fulfilled in you? Joseph went from being the trafficked to being put in charge of all of Egypt, second only to the pharaoh himself.3 Yes, there was even more process in the 'in between', but God fulfilled the teen-aged Joseph's dreams.
Because he never lets go of us,
1 - Isaiah 55.11
2 - Jeremiah 29.11
3 - Genesis 41.41