Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Plan of Action
Lately there has been a reoccuring theme floating in my ears... God's plan.
There are times when I get frustrated that I have no idea where I am going or what my life will be like. I know that many people have great dreams and aspirations for my life, but what if those are not God's aspirations for my life?. At our church (sojournchurch.com) we are going through the Old Testament. The pastor is preaching sermons that highlight the "main events" of the Old Testament, while the body as a whole is reading through the OT by reading a little in order, a psalm and a proverb. Wow, I am amazed at God's plan... but I am also comforted a bit by the "heroes" lack of faith even when God specifically tells them the game play. For example, Abraham (Ishmaal) and the Israelites. However, there is one man who I admire greatly in Genesis and that is Joseph. We could all use a little more of Joseph's faith.
When Joseph was only 17 his brothers plot to kill him and instead sell him into slavery. For most if not all of his young adult life he is a slave in a foreign, pagan land. Though he becomes the head slave of his household he is still completely seperated from his homeland and his family (which he probably knew was where the promise was). However, when tempted to gratify himself a little with Potipher's eager wife... NO WAY he says... he could not do this thing before who? GOD! He remains faithful to the God of his Father. THEN... he is thrown into jail. I'm not sure I can even imagine what this was like. There were no lights, no bathrooms, no carpet... and it was jail so it was probably even worse than the regular situation with out those things. ick. Yet, while in prison he continues to glorify the Lord and ends up interpretting a man's dream who is supposed to remember his case before Pharoah... does he? NO! Can you imagine Joseph thinking he's finally going to get bailed out of jail... the hope and anticipation... only to be left in the hole for another 3 years before he is summoned and then only to serve. Yet, when he appears before Pharoah he again gives God all the glory. Finally, Joseph seems to be in a good spot as basically a ruler over Egypt and yet even then he is a slave of sorts to Pharoah and he lives among a people who worship many false gods and he has no connection with his family. Then he is finally reconnected with his family and needless to say the brothers are a little nervous around him and what does Joseph say twice (Gen 48 and 50)??? That all of that evil that they intended to do him (and succeeded in doing to him) that God from the very first day meant all that for good (Joseph's good and the good of all the people in the land who didn't have to starve during the famine). What perspective! So many of us have problems forgiving our spouses for minor silly offenses or our parents or friends and yet Joseph is able to look at all his pain and say that it was God's good plan for him.
I want to be like that.