Notes on a Bible Hero: Joseph

Joseph saw the world as his oyster.

Favored son. Had a dream everyone would be under him. Any reason to tell this? No. Except he was proud. So he told.

He got thrown in a pit, sold as a slave, propositioned by the mistress. What was his response? “No. It would be wrong.” “I don’t want to mess up your relationship with your husband.” Uh-uh. He said, “I have been given authority in this house.” In other words, in pride, Joseph said, I am too good to do this. I am more important than you are. I’m not saying she was right to lie, but didn’t he deserve to get squashed for that? Some slave, even a trusted one, telling the master’s wife that he was more important than she was. Proved him wrong.

When his fellow prisoners had dreams and didn’t understand them, he said, “Don’t dreams belong to God?” Good question. But his next statement is, “Tell me your dreams.” Is that the same guy making himself equal with God? Maybe the cupbearer forgot Joseph because God wanted him to. Maybe Joseph wasn’t quite where God needed him to be.

Two years later Pharoah asks Joseph to interpret his dreams. Joseph says, “I cannot do it.” Now that might be a disclaimer; after all, he doesn’t want to disappoint a king. But he finishes up with, “However, God will tell you what you want to know.” It’s not Joseph now. It’s God.

Pride. We are more important than God. Or is God more important than we think he is?

orig. written 10/3/94