Most of us are probably familiar with the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors in Genesis, or the broadway play Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. If you are, this is going to be a refresher, and if you aren't, then lucky you bcause you're going to hear it.
Joseph was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Issac, who was the son of Abraham. Although he had many sons, Jospeh was very much the favorite of Jacob. to know why, you have to travel back a few years. Esau, Jacob's brother, wants to kill him because he thinks that Jacob wrongfully took away his blessing and birthright. Rebekah, their mother, tells Jacob to go and live with her brother Laban until Esau isn't angry anymore. Jacob leaves and comes to a well. There he meets Rachel, and falls in love with her. Rachel just happens to be Labans daughter, which is a good thing because Issac wanted Jacob to marry somone from his own tribe. They go home together and Laban is happy to see Jacob, and Jacob is happy to see Laban. He lived with Laban for awhile and eventually he was asked what he wanted because he shouldn't be laboring for free. Remember, Jacob loved Rachel, and he says that he will labor for seven years to marry her. Laban agrees, and he works seven years, which went by really quick because he loved Rachel so much. Laban gives him his older daughter Leah, though, because it is not the custom in his land to marry the older daughter before the younger one. So Jacob serves Laban for another seven years and he marry's Rachel. Now jacob has a bunch of kids with Leah, and her handmaiden, and has a bunch of kids with rachels handmaiden, but none with Rachel, who he loves more than any of his other wives. Eventually Rachel does have a child, Joseph. Since Jacob loved Rachel more than any of his other wives, he loved Joseph more than his other sons because he was the son that he had wanted in the first place. Jacob Makes for Joseph a coat of many colors, which only make his older brothers more jealous of him. One day Jacob tells Joseph to go check on his brothers and make sure they were doing a good job. When Joseph gets there, his brothers throw him in a pit and steal his coat. They then go off to eat their lunch and see a band of Ishmeelite merchants and think it would be better if they sold Joseph to them, instead of kill him. Before they got back to the pit, though, a group of Midianites grabbed him and sold him to the Ishmeelites. When Reuben, one of Josephs older brothers, went to get him to sell him, he wasn't there. He got scared and ran back and told his brothers, who came up with a plan. They splattered the coat of many colors with blood and told their father that Joseph had been killed by wild animals. The Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, captain of the pharohs guards. The whole time that he served Potiphar, his household was blessed because Joseph was blessed of the lord for keeping his commandments. Potiphars wife liked Joseph, and wanted him to sleep with her, and when he refused to, she got mad. She grabbed his garments trying to make him sleep with her, and he ran away, leaving her holding some of his clothes. This made her even angrier, and she told Potiphar that Joseph was mocking her and fled when she cried out., He got angry, and put Joseph in prison because he thought that Joseph was trying to sleep with his wife and mock her. He stayed faithful to the lord, however, and was still blessed. While in prison, he earned the favor of the prison guard and soon gained control of the whole prison. While there, he intrepreted two dreams of servants to Pharaoh. The butler was told that withen three days he would be back serving Pharaoh, and the Baker was told that withen three days he would be hung and birds would eat his flesh. he was right about both, and the Baker was hung and the Butler went back to serve Pharaoh. Two years passed, and Pharaoh had a dream that none of the wise men in all of Egypt could intrepret. The Butler remembered that Joseph could intrepret dreams and Pharaoh sent for him. Joseph told him that for seven years there would be a lot of food in the land, and then seven years after that, there would be a great famine. Pharaoh was so happy that Joseph was able to do this, and save Egypt, that he made Joseph ruler over all of Egypt. During the seven years of plenty, he saved the grain. When the famine finally came after another seven years, Egypt was the only land that had food because the lord had blessed Joseph and made him able to save all the land. When Jacob and his family started to run out of food, he sent his sons to Egypt to get some, the same sons that tossed Joseph in the pit. During this time, though, Jacob and Rachel had another child, and named him Benjamin. Jacob loved Benjamin more than his brothers, because he was the last son borne to him by Rachel. So all the brothers went to Egypt except Benjamin, because Jacob didn't want anything to happen to him. When they get there, Joseph recognizes them, but they don't recognize him. Joseph accuses them of being spies and puts them in prison for three days. He then lets them out, but keeps simeon in so that they have to come back for him, and tells them t to until they bring Benjamin. He has their sacks filled with grain, and their money put back in. When they go back to Jacob they are scared because they think that they have stolen the grain and they tell him everything that happened. Jacob eventually agrees and gives them double the money to go back with incase it was an oversight that their money was returned. When they get back to Egypt, they tell Joseph about it, and he says that he had their money all long, and it was just a blessing from god and not to worry about it, and returns Simeon to them. He then has dinner with them, and they still do not know that he is their brother. He has their sacks filled again and their money put back, but in Benjamins sack he has his silver cup placed. After they left, Joseph sent his servent after them to find the cup. The brothers are searched, and the cup is found with Benjamin. They are all brought back and Joseph says that he has to put Benjamin in prison for stealing the cup. The brothers refuse to go back without Benjamin, because Joseph will die if they don't bring him back. Judah offers to take the place of Benjamin so that he can go back home and their father will not die. At that point, Joseph tells them who he is, and Pharaoh invites all of his family to Egypt. and joseph tells them, "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earning not harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt." Genesis 45:5-8.
Now there is much more to this story that i haven't told, but i have told enough to set a point. The lord has certain things for us to do. They may not be as dramatic as what he had planned for Joseph, but they may be equally important in their own way. Joseph was able to accomplish all that he did because he remained faithful no matter what happened to him. The same goes for us. If we remain faithful the lord will bless us, and the more faithful we are, the more we are blessed. I'm sure that Joseph would rather not have had a lot of what happened to him occur, but he never lost faith. We may not like a lot of the things that God wants us to do, but as long as we do them, and keep our faith in him he will bless us.
Tim Collins 4-12-2002