Joseph, The First Moral Man [re-post]

Old Testament Joseph doesn’t get nearly the mad crazy love he deserves.

In a very real sense, the Bible begins with him.

Oh, yeah, sure, there’s a lotta stuff before him, like the creation of the world, Adam & Eve, the flood, Noah’s ark, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, etc., etc., and of course, etc., but truth be told, none of the folks who preceded Joseph were particularly moral.  They were, by and large, a selfish lot, and if they didn’t lie, cheat, steal, and murder it was only because they were looking out for their own self-interests by not doing anything that would bring the wrath of God down on ‘em.

They behaved themselves because they were afraid of being punished, not because they believed it was right.

Joseph is the first Christ-like figure in the Bible, Christ-like in that he allowed himself to be offered up on faith as a sacrifice to save his family and Egypt from famine.

His family = his 10 brothers who beat him up, stripped him, threw him in a pit, sold him to slave traders, then faked his death so their father wouldn’t go looking for him.

But unlike almost everyone who preceded him, Joseph did not return evil for evil (the other patriarchs didn’t initiate violence against their neighbors so long as their neighbors let ‘em be, but were quick to draw swords and blood at the slightest offense).

Because of this, Joseph gradually rose to a position of power and responsibility in Egypt, putting him in the right place at the right time to save his brothers from starvation.

Read the story (Genesis 37, 39 - 50).  Pay special attention to chapter 42, verses 7 - 24.  Joseph is clearly tempted to give his brothers a hard time, and one suspects that if they had not demonstrated at least the tiny bit of remorse that they did, Joseph would have let ‘em have it.

But Joseph could not, would not bear animosity towards them.  He saw that even though he had to suffer, ultimately God had blessed him and rewarded him far beyond what he would have received as a scabby sheep herder in Canaan.

But God didn’t tell him this in advance!  God didn’t give him a dream to tell him how it would all work out, God just ran him through the wringer and expected him to stand fast.

And he did.

We go through the wringer all the time.  We don’t know how it’s going to turn out.

Do we stand fast?

Moses & His Mommies [re-post]

Easter Is Coming