After throwing Joseph into the pit to die, Joseph’s brothers sat down to eat. Their jealousy and hatred was appeased as they did away with him. Life could go on now without the strife of seeing their brother in his colorful robe receiving the favor of their father. They would no longer hear the dreams Joseph was having of them bowing down in worship of him. They had removed the object of their jealousy, but deep within there was an uneasiness.
God’s timing is perfect, even for an unexpected journey.
Sitting there eating their lunch conflicted with the victory of revenge and the weight of guilt his brothers saw a caravan in the distance coming towards them. This time his brother, Judah, spoke up, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother – our own flesh and blood!” His brothers agreed and when the caravan came by Joseph’s brothers pulled him from the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. And so Joseph was sent on an unexpected journey to Egypt.
The jealousy and hatred of Joseph’s brothers was meant to kill Joseph. The enemy was accessing his brothers to harm Joseph and to keep the dreams God had for Joseph from being fulfilled. Joseph wasn’t killed, but being sold as a slave was almost as bad. Not only had Joseph been stripped of his father’s robe, he was taken away from his father, away from his home, and from everything familiar.
He was on his way to a different country,
a different culture,
a different language.
He was stripped of his identity; his name, his position, his job,
on his way to be sold as a slave.
Once again Joseph found himself rejected and alone. Again I wonder, “What was Joseph thinking as he travelled with that caravan down to Egypt?” “What were the thoughts running through his mind?” “What were the prayers he was praying to God?”
“What did I ever do to deserve this?”
“Just wait until I get back at my brothers! I’ll show them!”
“I’ll never see my family again, I’m so alone.”
“My dreams will never come true now?”
“God, I don’t understand what is happening, what will happen to me in Egypt?”
“God, thank You for Your protection over me, though my brothers wanted to kill me, I am still alive.”
“God, though I may never see my family again, I know You are always with me, You will never leave me”
“God, I trust You, and if those dreams were from You I believe they will come true in Your time and in Your way.”
Think about your life journeys. Have there been some journeys that you thought you would never travel? Have there been journeys that others have put you on because of jealousy, or hatred? As in the bottom of a pit; when life sends you on an unexpected journey, your thoughts have a powerful affect on who you become along that journey, and who you are at the journey’s end.
You can’t always determine the pits you are thrown into,
and you can’t always determine the journeys you find yourself on,
but you can determine your thoughts while you are there.
While pit experiences may seem hopeless, with no way out, unexpected journeys also bring opportunity for fear and self-pity. Fear of the unknown can paralyze. Self-pity can breed unforgiveness, and bitterness which result in loneliness and isolation. The enemy of your soul can use an unexpected journey to rob your identity, kill your dreams, and destroy your destiny.
But, once again as in the bottom of a pit, if you choose to turn your focus to God and fear Him and trust Him, your unexpected journey will be worked together for your good. An unexpected journey is intended to define you as God created you to be, give you experience needed for your dreams to be fulfilled, and to lead you into the destiny God has for you.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.