Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the fild when suddenly my sheaf rose and stodd upright while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."
His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" and they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he ha said.
Then he had another dream and he told it tho is brothers, "Listen, " he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sum and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your borthers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him but his father kept the matter in mind.
God's grace is written all over the life of Joseph and his family, just as God's grace is written all over our lives. Although Joseph and his family didn't realize it at the time, Joseph's dreams were prophetic. Years later, Joseph's brothers did bow down to him and yes he did "rule over them."
Jealousy, resentment,and anger drove Joseph's older brothers to their next set of actions. These events eventually placed Joseph second in command to pharaoh. His brothers had originally wanted to kill Joseph but Reuben convinced them to throw him into a pit instead. While Reuben was gone, Judah had convinced his other brothers to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites. They took the coat of many colours that their father had given to his favoured son, Joseph, and tore it and dipped it into the blood of a goat that they had slaughtered. When the brothers returned to their father they showed him Joseph's torn and bloodied coat. They let Israel believe that a wild animal had killed Joseph.
Families today also suffer from resentment, jealousy, anger and misunderstandings. Our decisions and choices today lay the groundwork for our future. God had a plan for Joseph and his family just as He has a plan for our families.
Did God immediately tell Joseph what His plans were for him? No, but as the days turned into years and one good or bad event turned into another, it eventually became apparent.
Does God immediately tell us what His plans are for us? No, but like Joseph, in time we realize and can see how God's hand was on our lives all along.
Forgiveness is very much apart of Joeseph's story of grace. During the years he was separated from his family he learned how to forgive his brothers for selling him. He learned to forgive them of their hatred, jealousy, resentment, etc. He was able to forgive them because he could see God's plan.
"I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. ...So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God..." Genesis 45:4-6
I pray that as events unfold in our lives, either good or bad, that we may see the evil that Satan intended has turned into good because of God. Compassion and forgiveness are components of God's grace.