JOSHUA’S NOTE – Adversity: Sweet Dreams, Chilling Nightmares (Genesis 37:12-36)
Jacob was a shrewd businessman who sought power and wealth – perhaps too much at times.
Joseph’s brothers grudge against him was long-standing, but the plot to kill him cam to them suddenly. Long nurtured hatred results in rash, dangerous, destructive decisions.
The robe is symbol of honour, status, power, wealth and royalty.
A man being installed in a position of honour or importance was given a special robe. Joseph got such a robe when he was put in a leadership position in Egypt (Genesis 41:42)
Taking away a robe signalled a man’s removal from high position.
Luke 15:22 shows us a fine robe was a mark of a man’s honour in his household.
God tests us. It’s not a game for Him. And He isn’t toying with our emotions. More often, the Lord is preparing us for the dreams in our own hearts.
Comparing the young boy with the older, wiser man at the end of his life, Joseph’s story shows us a young boy; he had no regard for his brothers’ feelings. His dreams and the way he described them alienated his brothers. Yet as he matured, Joseph’s heart broke with love and affection for his brothers – despite the fact that they had wronged him, giving him more reason for anger, bitterness and revenge.
Adversity put Joseph through the refiner’s fire, and he emerged a much purer man. God transformed him into an overcomer who not only loved his own family, but who would be used to save an entire nation.
Adversity doesn’t mean disaster. Consider the trials of some of history’s most famous overcomers:
- Demosthenes, greatest orator of the ancient world stuttered.
- Julius Caesar was epileptic.
- Beethoven began losing his hearing in his twenties and eventually became completely deaf.
- Thomas Edison was hard of hearing.
- John Bunyan spent twelve years of his adult life in a prison cell.
- Glenn Cunningham, before setting the world’s record for running the mile, was once burned so severely, that doctors told him he would never walk again.
Sometimes, the only way God can bless us is by breaking us.
God whispers to us in our pleasures . . . but shouts in our pains. – C.S. Lewis.
When the light comes, the darkness must depart. Where truth is, the lies must flee. If the lie remains, there will be a severe conflict, because truth cannot and will not lower its standard. If you follow Christ, all the hounds of the world will yelp at your heels. – Charles Spurgeon.
Living on the side of truth means adversity.
It’s better to endure temporary struggle, which lead to eternal joy, than momentary comfort, which results in everlasting torment.