The remainder of chapter 8 focuses on Joseph and his life. I have heard many teachings about Joseph and how he didn't become bitter with all that he went through. Actually the DailyAudioBible.com reading last week was about Joseph.
With all that happened to Joseph there is no record of him ever getting bitter. There is no record of him getting angry. I know he wasn't perfect, he did brag a bit and spy on his brothers for his father, but to go through all he did and not become bitter! That amazes me!
Interestingly his brothers were envious of him and bitter of how much their father loved him. This bitterness lead them to throw Joseph in a pit, plot to kill him, and actually sell him into slavery. I mean take a minute and think about that for a minute. I have 2 brothers and I can honestly say I have plotted against them, when we were kids of course, but I never plotted to kill them or sell them. I can't even wrap my brain around that. How much bitterness must have been entrenched in their hearts to do this. Then they returned home and lied to their father and lived with the secret for years. I am sure that they were torn apart on the inside by all they had done, but it doesn't seem as if they ever tried to make it right either.
"He could have let bitterness wrap his heart in a web of anger, anxiety, and revenge, but he didn't. He chose not to. He made a conscious choice to honor God with his actions and his attitudes, and God honored him." Lysa.
He chose not to! Since he wasn't perfect and it didn't come natural to not be bitter, he had to chose to not be bitter. There are a lot of hard choices in my life but for me, this is a hard one to make. I have felt the ugliness and ache of bitterness creep over me. It actually makes me ache. I don't want that, I mean who would!
Lysa also writes about how God didn't immediately remove Joseph from his situations and place him as second to only Pharaoh. Even though he made the choice to not be bitter, to not sleep with Potiphar's wife, and to not scream at the bars of the prison to the cupbearer about how he didn't keep his promise to him, God kept him in the situation. Ummm, not sure about anyone else, but that would have, actually has, made me be bitter. He did what he should do, some may even say beyond what he should do, and God still kept him there. Of course, God had a plan, a reason, a salvation of nations, and a reunion and healing of a family.
I have no idea what God has planned. I know, like Joseph, He has given me a dream. Years after Joseph's dreams God brought them to pass, and although it may be years, well it has been years, maybe more years before God brings my dream to pass. But I know that He will, because it was the dream He gave me!
Next, I enter the phase of Believing Phase!