Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Joseph was next to the youngest of old Jacob's sons, probably around 17 years old when his life was violently disrupted. His ten older brothers were the true church of that day; they were the "Israel" of the world, God's chosen nation-to-be, but they rejected Joseph and hated him.
Sent on a self-sacrificing mission to help his ten older brothers, Joseph suddenly found himself the object of their bitter feelings of jealousy when they grabbed him and threw him helpless into a pit, lonely, hungry, probably bruised, while they sat down to enjoy the meal from home that Jacob had sent Joseph to bring them. Then his brothers cruelly sold him as a slave to some heathen merchants who came by, thinking of course that they would never see him again.
As would any innocent teenager, Joseph was mystified by this sudden reversal in fortune; to be hated by God's own "Israel, " the "nation" God chose to be a blessing to the world--could any fate be more painful for a sincere teen to endure? (Sorry, Joseph was only the progenitor of a long list of prophets and "messengers" whom the Lord sent to help His people, but who rejected and hated Him through the centuries until they despised and crucified His own Son!)
The inspired historian says, "The Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy" (2 Chron. 36:15, 16).
If you are a teenager and your world has been turned upside down for any reason, and you are tempted to wonder if there is a God who cares about you, think on this:
(1) As the Ishmaelites from Gilead with their camels on their way to Egypt bore young Joseph away, and he looked for the last time on the hills where his father's tent was, his heart thrilled with a choice not to let himself become bitter, but to consecrate his life to the Lord God.
(2) Sold as a slave to Potiphar in Egypt, Joseph was tempted to think that God had forgotten about him; and often today when things go against us we are tempted likewise to give in to that awful temptation; but choose with Joseph to believe in the Lord your God who is your heavenly Father.
(3) He will never forget you!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 24, 2008.
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