I remember in the 80’s when something went terribly wrong in a person’s life they would often use the expression, “It’s the pits.”
I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all felt like we’ve been thrown into a pit, I know I have. It happens everyday to thousands of people from every walk of life for every imaginable reason. And let’s face it, finding ourselves at the bottom of a deep, dark and lonely pit is in fact, “The pits.”
Now if that is you today let me encourage you by sharing a story about a young man who found himself thrown into a pit on more than one occasion but who also emerged from his terrible circumstances to save his people from starvation.
Yes, Joseph the oldest born son of Jacob and Rachel was forsaken by his older brothers, falsely accused of rape by a woman he hardly new and forgotten by a fellow prisoner who failed to return Joseph’s kindness.
For you see Joseph was the first-born son of Jacob and Rachel but he was the second youngest of twelve brothers. Joseph’s older brothers were born to Jacob’s other wives and vigorously disliked him primarily because he was their father Jacob’s favorite.
It didn’t help his cause that he dawned a coat of many colors given to him by Jacob and that he shared some rather strange dreams with them. Joseph had received two dreams that depicted his whole family bowing down before him which when considering his fraternal rank was both laughable and contemptible.
We pick up Joseph’s story just after his brothers have thrown him into a deep, dark, lonesome pit and while they now calmly eat their dinner plotting his further demise.
After a bit of conversation his brothers decide to sell him instead of kill him. So Joseph is delivered into the hands of nomads who transport him to Egypt and sell him into slavery.
In one day this man Joseph who had a loving family, doting father and caring mother loses everything a person can lose except his life.
But wait, his plight worsens as next he is falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife and then thrown into an Egyptian dungeon for several years. At this point Joseph could have had one big pity party because of his circumstance but he doesn’t.
This once promising young man who was once the pride of his father’s eye is now rotting in a dungeon because of his brother’s jealously – or maybe this was God’s plan for his life after all?
Because as we continue to read the account of Joseph’s life we’re told that he is eventually released from incarceration, given the rank of second in command throughout all Egypt by Pharaoh himself and therefore becomes the organizer of one of the largest food distribution programs the ancient world had ever seen.
And then the life of Joseph comes full circle when his brothers travel to Egypt and bow before him petitioning him for much needed food for their survival. We see that Joseph does indeed struggle to reconcile his feelings toward his brothers but in the end he understands that what they meant for evil God meant for good.
This story could have had a much different ending except for one important lesson Joseph had learned and one we all must learn if we’re going to get out of the pit. Nothing happens by chance and God has a plan for everything that takes place in our lives.
Thomas Watson wrote in The Great Gain of Godliness, “Faith anticipates glory.”
So be encouraged today that what you are going through is God’s perfect plan for your life. Hang on for the ride in the midst of the storm and trust that God’s saving grace is just around the corner and what was meant for evil God will use for good. Amen…