Read Genesis 37:1-17
Poor, hapless, Joseph.
He doesn’t realize how much his brothers hate him, and so he walks like a simpleton into their camp… but that’s actually tomorrow’s story.
Today, I want to think about trouble, about problems. Everyone we’ve read about has them, from Adam to Jacob. And looking around we see that everyone still does. Life is hard.
We wonder why. Why is there so much trouble in life?
I’ve been saying that life is a story, being written by God, and the bible is the master story. It’s how we understand all the other stories, including our own.
Most stories have an ‘inciting incident’ – an event that kicks everything off. It explains the problem, or conflict, or trouble, in the story.
Same here: God created everything and it was beautiful, a dance of love between God and humans. Then the Dragon came whispering, “You can be like God,” and urging them to eat what God had forbidden. They ate it, and the dance ended. Eating the fruit changed the humans, it made them hungry for more and more.
When Cain came along we could see the damage clearly. God called it a battle against sin, and urged Cain to win, but Cain didn’t.
No one did.
But later, God declared Abraham “righteous” – which is the opposite of sinful – only because Abraham believed God’s promises.
You may or may not believe that this story-about-everything is the true story about life, but if it is then you need to know what it says about the source of all the trouble: There is a battle and we are in it. Fighting against us are Satan and our own cravings. The prize, the thing we are fighting for, is our faith – believing God and his word despite everything.
Joseph is going to have tons of trouble and it will be easy to see the sin behind it all but let’s watch God, because remember, He plans to bless the whole world through these people.
Keep asking as you read, do I believe it? Do I believe God is still working his good plan and fulfilling his promises, even when all looks lost?
Like I’ve said, it’s your story too.