6 Striking Lessons from the Story of Joseph

You don’t have to be a bible scholar to know the story of Joseph.

In fact, there are many who know the story of the dreamer, without ever reading it from the bible themselves.

That’s how well-told and how well-alluded-to the story is.

On the one hand, this is due to how dramatic and surreal the narrative is, on the other hand, it owes its popularity to the immense spiritual and life lessons it offers.

Six of such striking takeaways are what I have highlighted in this post.

Let’s dive in.

#1. God is Incredibly Committed to Helping You Get to Your Destination

Every time I ponder on Joseph’s narrative, I’m amazed at how God carefully masterminded things to ensure he eventually arrived at the throne.

When he was sent to check on his brothers at Shechem, God ensured there was a man who heard when the brothers decided to go to Dothan.

And then He made sure that the man was still around when Joseph arrived, so their paths would cross and he could tell Joseph where his brothers went to. If these didn’t happen, perhaps Joseph would have returned home and the chance to get into Egypt may have been delayed.

At Dothan, his brothers could have killed him, but God influenced Reuben to let them keep him in a pit. Not long after, as the Ishmaelites were passing, Judah was stirred up to suggest they sell him to them.

And it wasn’t mere coincidence that the Ishmaelites were headed to Egypt, where Joseph’s appointment with the throne will be fulfilled. God was pressing the buttons.

In Egypt, the Ishmaelites could have sold him to anybody, but it was Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard who acquired him. That way,  he inched closer to the throne.

When Potiphar wanted to throw him in prison, he put him where the king’s prisoners were bound even though he was not a prisoner of the king.

But remember, God was working out his passage to the throne. So, He put him in the same prison with Pharaoh’s butler and baker just so one of them will eventually be able to tell Pharaoh about him.

Finally, He gave Pharaoh, dreams that troubled his spirit and wouldn’t let him be so they would send for Joseph.

He literally held Joseph by the hand, making twists and turns to get him to a throne that never existed previously!

God is simply an incredible mastermind!

Stay with Him; He is as committed to helping you achieve your life’s goal as he was with Joseph.

#2. When Things Are Rough, Stay Positive, It May be Part of the Plot

Joseph was 17, when he had dreams of how he would be in authority and rule.

But, more than a decade after; there was no sign of the throne in sight. Things had been rough for him. It had been from one trouble to another. But they were all part of the plot and Joseph knew well enough to stay positive.

If he hadn’t maintained a positive mindset and attitude, it will surely have affected his productivity. He wouldn’t have been able to work so diligently in Potiphar’s house and in the prison to the point that he was made overseer.

Having a positive outlook to life, kept him in the right frame of mind to interact with the other prisoners and even interpret their dreams.

Along the road, things may get bad. But no matter how bad it gets, it will always be better to stay positive.

That’s the posture that makes it easier to navigate the storms.

#3. On the Way to Actualizing Purpose, Every Stage of Your Life is Important

As Joseph was going through each of the stages in his life’s journey, little did he know that God was preparing him for the ultimate assignment, of managing Egypt’s resources and manpower.

God allowed Potiphar place him over his entire household so he would prove himself in the judicious management of resources and people. The intent was no different when the prison officer appointed him overseer over all the prisoners of the king.

They were leadership and administrative training grounds for the big one ahead.

Alongside too, were temptations that could have truncated his path to the top. And he needed to prove himself in that regard as well.

If he had yielded to the enticements of pleasures in those early stages, his potential may have as well been stagnated at that level.

#4. Whatever Your Hands Find to Do, Do it Well

As much as God was committed to helping Joseph fulfil his dreams, everything may have been scuttled had Joseph not been a diligent fellow.

It was diligence that made him go the extra mile to trace his brothers to Dothan. Some other youngsters might have turned back when they weren’t found at Shechem.

And if he hadn’t gone to Dothan, his journey to Egypt may have been postponed.

It was through diligence at his role as overseer in the prison that he asked after the welfare of the baker and butler and interpreted their dreams.

Eventually, that turned out to be the channel through which his elevation came.

#5. Until it is the Appointed Time, People May Forget You

No matter how connected you are, certain purposes of God concerning you may never manifest unless the time is right.

When the time was not yet, no one remembered what Mordecai did. But as soon as the appointed time came, the king lost his sleep (Esther 6).

The chief butler had promised not to forget Joseph.

He did.

But he was jolted back from his forgetfulness when God was ready to announce Joseph to the world.

Make efforts, put in your best; but be ever encouraged by the fact that God makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

#6. The Dream God Gives You is for Others Not You

Joseph demonstrated profound understanding of God’s ways when he told his brothers: “God sent me before you to preserve life”; “God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:5-7).

He could decipher that his dreams were not necessarily about him, but how he’d be a blessing to others.

So he considered it needless to hold grudges against those that were employed in making that happen – even if they played negative roles.

See, the dream God has given you is not to expand your empire or build a dynasty, it is to affect others immensely. It is not to advance your self-importance but to bring God’s good purpose to bear in the lives of people.

It is never for you. It’s always about others.

You lose grip of purpose, once your dreams starts becoming all about you.


See Also

4 Great Lessons from the Life of Apollos

5 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About St. Barnabas

How to Attract Divine Visitation: A Vital Lesson from Zacchaeus

5 Tricky Pitfalls Every Leader Should Avoid: Lessons from King Darius

Faith in Adversity: The Story Behind the Hymn ‘It is Well’


pp (7) new About the Author Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian Christian minister, writer and speaker. He writes on Faith, Personal Development, Youth Development, and Life Realities. With his words, he seeks to inspire, motivate, propagate life’s truths and represent a sincere Christian voice. Learn more about Ogaga here.

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