As we study various characters in the Bible, we look to see how they were led of God, how they might inspire us, and how they reflect our Lord Jesus’ character since many figures in the Bible are referred to, or picture our Lord Jesus.

What would you do if your brothers hated you so much that they sold you into slavery? How would you respond if you were accused falsely of a crime that you did not commit and then thrown into jail for two years? Then, just as suddenly you were vindicated and not just recovered but given great authority and power. Would you exact revenge on the truly guilty parties or would you show mercy?

Out of jealousy Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. God overruled this experience because we know that the majority of the brothers wanted to kill him. Joseph ended up in the hands of Potiphar, a wealthy Egyptian. When Potiphar’s wife made advances toward him, Joseph resisted. Angered, she lied and told Potiphar that Joseph attacked her. Potiphar believed his wife and put Joseph in prison. There, Joseph waited for two years until Pharaoh sent for him to interpret his dream.

Joseph was favored of God and proved his loyalty. He trusted God and waited patiently for deliverance from prison. Even with his brothers, he did not return evil for evil. “You intended to harm me but God intended it for good . . . the saving of many lives.” (Gen. 50:20, New International Version) So too with our Lord Jesus. “When he was reviled, [he] reviled not again.” (1 Pet. 2:23) Ever faithful, Jesus said “not my will, but thine, be done.”—Luke 22:42

Joseph was brought to the throne of Egypt because it was God’s will. Neither Potiphar’s wife nor his brothers’ evil intentions could interfere with that. God used the natural course of events to test (and demonstrate) his servant’s obedience, faithfulness, and love for him. Similarly, Jesus suffered, proving his obedience and love for God and his plan. As a result, God highly exalted him with power to bless the world in due time.—1 Tim. 2:6

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