Faith. Relationship. Career

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

PREDESTINATION VS FREE-WILL (Series Finale- Joseph)

I'm assuming we all know a little about the story of Joseph, but if you want to remind yourself, you can read Genesis ch37 & ch 39-41.

At the age of 17, Joseph was hated by his brothers because he kept having dreams that insinuated he was going to be a future leader and his brothers and parents would bow down to him. This caused his brothers to plot against him. At first they planned to kill him but with the interference of the oldest child, Rueben, the plans changed and they sold him into slavery.

You will have difficulties. This is what I tell myself: If you don't have difficulties, then it's either you are not on the right path or you don't have any important part to play in life. Difficult moments make you wiser and to fulfill your destiny, you need every wisdom and strength. Joseph was just 17 and his older brothers were scared of his dreams and had to get rid of him. Imagine living most of your childhood being bullied and hated on. This didn't even stop at 17. He was sold into slavery which means up until his young-adult years, he still suffered just because of who he was.

Most times in life, we feel like we're going through hell. The people we expect to have our backs are the ones who turn against us. Sometimes it may be unintentional while other times, like in the case of Joseph it could be intentional. However, it's important to look at the positive side of things. Look back at the story of Joseph and tell yourself "If they weren't so afraid of my dreams, they wouldn't be plotting against me". Nothing can be worse than a 17 year old being hated on, betrayed by his brothers, taken away from his father who he loved (his mother died when he was young) and sold to slavery.

Stay Positive! I'm sure while all these bad things were happening, Joseph had no idea God was watching and he had a plan. One thing I noticed while reading about Joseph was that he was faithful to his father, Jacob. The bible recorded that Joseph reported his brother's evil doings to their father on several occasions. I know nowadays we may call this "amebo/snitch" but it still doesn't take from the fact that he was well behaved, truthful and trustworthy. I am sure those were the qualities God saw in him thereby having an interest in his life.

Even when Joseph got to Egypt, while in slavery, he still maintained his honorable character so that he was recognized by his master. ch39 vs 3 "And his master saw that the lord was with him, and that the lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand." Even through the worst moments in life, keep your positive character and God will prosper and recognize you through those times.

God will favor you. Ch39 vs5 "...the lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake." Naturally, it would have been impossible for Joseph to become a ruler in any country because royalty was not in his family lineage. However, God and his wonderful plans found a way to get Joseph to the top. The path was rough and any normal person would have lost hope but Joseph remained positive and worked with God's plan for his life, although he had no idea where he was going.

Hard times can make you question if God even has plans for your life. Some people have given up and settled for the easy life where they don't need to fight for what they deserve but sometimes we are not born into destiny. Sometimes, we have to allow God take us through a long, difficult journey in order to arrive at our destination, the place where he wants us to excel and do his will.

There are cases in the bible where there were prophesies before a child was born. An angel prophesied at Samson's, Jesus', John the Baptist's birth so these people knew their destiny right from birth. They knew what they were born to do. However, in a case like Joseph's where you just stay faithful, obeying God's word and slowly watch him reveal your destiny, it could be difficult to stay positive. It's hard to keep trusting when you don't know why you're suffering or where you're going but trusting God is the best decision you could ever make. Joseph's dream at the age of 17 could have been to own a huge farm and become wealthy but God showed him that his own plans were bigger.

There will still be obstacles but keep pushing. Even when Joseph thought he had reached his destination. A place away from his brothers, his master treated him nicely and promoted him so everything seemed great until his master's wife tried to sleep with him. Joseph stayed true to himself and God and turned her offer down. In order to save her self from being exposed, she lied against Joseph and had him thrown in prison.

For us, this could have been the "really! so I'm back to zero-level" point but Joseph was unaware that God was preparing him for the next phase of his plan which was to introduce him to the king, Pharaoh. While in prison, God still remained faithful and showed Joseph favor with the prison keeper and later used his dreams to put him in the place of his destiny. ch41 vs40 "...only in the throne will I be greater than you" Joseph translated Pharaoh's nightmares and was promoted to the position of the ruler of Egypt.

Note: ch41 vs46 "And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt" If Joseph was sold to slavery at the age of 17, this means he spent 13 years jumping from one trouble to another. Your difficult moments could take a very long time and you could question if you would ever fulfill your destiny but Joseph should serve as an example and role model for all of us. Also recall how God used Joseph's gift of dreams to help him find favor before Pharaoh.

Your gift and good character will always keep you in line with God's plan. This is my final post on Predestination vs Free-will and I hope we were all inspired by these bible characters :D








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