Psalm 105:17-19 and He sent a man before them— Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true.
Prior to being sold into slavery, Joseph was given two dreams by the Lord. In the first, Joseph and his brothers each had a sheaf of grain. His sheaf stood upright, and the sheaves of his brothers gathered around it and bowed down to it. Upon telling his brothers this dream, they hated Joseph all the more.
In the second dream, the sun, the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him. He shared this dream with his father, Jacob, as well as with his brothers. Jacob rebuked him asking about the dream, “Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”
Twenty years before the famine would arrive, God gave Joseph these dreams. I wonder what he thought about them. Did he think they would come true sometime soon? Joseph had no idea what was coming. Instead of a life of blessing, growth and prosperity with his family – he experienced the opposite: betrayal by his brothers, sold as a slave, taken to Egypt, harsh treatment, blessed as a slave for an Egyptian master, and then imprisoned because he wouldn’t sin.
We tend to overlook the shackles and bruises on his feet, and the irons around his neck. He wasn’t politely taken to Egypt – he was forcibly and painfully taken. All of this was done because of God’s plan. Joseph’s dreams were going to come true – his family was going to bow before him. But first would come this path of preparation that God had for Joseph.
It’s so important that we recognize that God has plans for each of us – plans that require preparation. While we probably won’t encounter anything like Joseph did, God will do whatever it takes to prepare us and enable us to do what He wants us to do. Many things might be hard, but we must learn to embrace them – looking to the Lord to accomplish His plan and purpose within us. Hopefully we will emulate Joseph and walk faithfully through all we encounter, being conscious of God’s presence with us – leading us on.