This week, we continue the demanding work of selecting reverse to move forward – breaking free from the destructive patterns of our past and living out the purpose God has for our lives. The story of Joseph gives us a practical, biblical example of finding freedom from our family life scripts.
Read Genesis 45:1-15. God clearly has something to teach us through the story of Joseph. His story takes up 25 percent. of the book of Genesis. It’s clearly important! Many of us will know the story from our days in Sunday School or through singing about his “dazzling coat of many colours”. But Joseph’s story is about someone who lived in a family of great brokenness and sadness, stretching back over generations, and yet who managed to grow up into an emotionally and spiritually mature adult.
Joseph belonged to what we call today a “blended family”. He was the eleventh of twelve sons born to his father, Jacob. He lived with his father, his two wives and his two concubines and his eleven brothers, all under one roof. It becomes clear that in this maelstrom of complex family relationships, Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children. Not surprisingly, his brothers were jealous and couldn’t say a kind word to him. Poor Joseph didn’t help himself either! He comes across as immature and arrogant. Joseph has a dream, but as he recounts it to his brothers, in his telling the brothers begin to hate him even more. In the end, they decide to fake his death at the hands of a wild animal and sell him into slavery in Egypt, hoping they had heard the last of him. Joseph’s family was marked by a pattern of lying, half-truths, secrecy, and jealousy. Joseph’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all guilty of perpetuating this pattern. Joseph’s brothers took this to another level altogether!
Through his brothers scheming, Joseph lost his parents, his brothers, his culture, and his freedom in one day. Whilst serving as a slave in Egypt, he is falsely accused of rape by the wife of his master, Potiphar, and sent to prison. Joseph should have been filled with bitterness and pain for all he had been through. But he remains a faithful seeker and lover of God. Even as his circumstances swirled out of control, the Bible describes Joseph as a man walking with God. What about us? Are we willing to break free from any bad patterns of behaviour our families may have taught us? Are we willing to select reverse to move forward and walk with God? If we are, then like Joseph we can be a blessing to our family and those around us.
THINK IT OVER
•Do you have traumatic losses in your past or present? How might they affect who you are today?