The End of the Road
So Joseph died, being 110 years old. Genesis 50:26
As I’ve mentioned previously, I grew up with a pastor for a father, learning Bible stories from a young age. From that young age, the account of Joseph has always been my favorite. It has Joseph, the young hero, falling victim to his brothers, who are among the villains of the tale. Though he was betrayed, sold into slavery, and falsely imprisoned, Joseph clung to his faith, following God. Against all odds, God used Joseph to save Egypt, and later, his own family. Eventually, Joseph was reconciled to his long-lost family and they lived happily ever after. Upon his father’s death, Joseph reflected on his life and the evil that his brothers had done to him. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive (Genesis 50:20). This was the theme of Joseph’s life – Though he endured terrible trials and though others wished evil upon him, Joseph followed God and God used those terrible trials to do something amazing. God took something evil and transformed it into something good.
Now, in today’s passage, we come to the end of Joseph’s story. I hope I’m not near the end of my story, but still, such a moment makes me look at my own life, pondering its theme. I’d like to think that what was true in Joseph’s life is true in mine. My tale isn’t quite as grand, and I’m afraid I’ve been the villain in my own story – All my worst life trials so far have been self-inflicted. Still, it’s clear that the same God who worked in Joseph’s life, is working in mine. Though I’ve done terrible things in my addiction, God has also used my addiction to do amazing things. He’s taken my evil and transformed it into good.
That’s why I’ve always liked Joseph’s story I think – because it reveals God’s transforming nature. It is God’s nature to take man’s evil and use it for his own purpose in the lives of those who follow him. That’s a promise that’s available to all of us. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good . . . (Romans 8:28). This doesn’t mean that if we believe in God, life will always go the way we think it should. I didn’t plan on doing jail medicine and Joseph didn’t plan on being a slave in Egypt. It does mean that if we seek God, we will find joy, purpose, and meaning, despite life not going the way we think it should. When we follow God, he takes our evil and transforms it into something good. That’s the story of Joseph and that’s the story I’d like for my own life.