Victory from the Jaws of Defeat – The Published Reporter®

In ancient times, Jacob appointed his son Joseph to become the head of the family by giving him a “coat of many colors” so the record says his brothers “hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (KJV Gen. 37:4). Stock photo: Tasawer, Shutter Stock, licensed.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – In a world where injustice, betrayal, and betrayal seem to run rampant, there is wisdom and hope to be gleaned from a story recorded in the first centuries of human history.

In ancient times, Jacob appointed his son Joseph to become the head of the family by giving him a “coat of many colors” because of what the record says his brothers “I hated him, and could not speak to him peacefully” (KJV Genesis 37:4). Joseph also had a spiritual gift of having and interpreting dreams that verified his leadership position and caused his brothers to hate him even more.

Record Java 1

One fateful day, the brothers were tending the flocks in a faraway place, and Jacob sent Joseph to check on them. When he approached his brothers, they saw him coming,

And when they saw him from afar, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. And they said to each other: Behold, this dreamer comes. Come, then, now, let us kill him and throw him into a pit, and we will say: Some evil beast devoured him; and we will see what will become of his dreams. (NIV Genesis 37:18-20)

One of the brothers said that they really shouldn’t kill Joseph, so they threw him into a well. He passed a caravan on his way to Egypt. Some of the brothers pulled him out of the well, tied him up, gagged him, and sold him as a slave to the caravan. So some of the brothers took his cloak, tore it, and smeared it with goat’s blood. They took it to his father, Jacob, and said that a wild beast had killed Joseph and the bloody robe was all they could find. Jacob tore his own clothes, put on mourning and refused to be comforted. Jacob mourned for many years for his son Joseph, thinking that he was dead.

Meanwhile, the transitory caravan went to Egypt and Joseph was sold as a slave to an influential man named Potiphar. Even as a slave, Joseph prospered:

and his master [Potiphar]He saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his eyes, and he served him; and he made him steward over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. (NIV Genesis 39:3-4)

As far as we can tell, Joseph was seventeen years old when he was sold into slavery. We assume that he was Potiphar’s slave for a few years before being promoted to overseer of Potiphar’s household and all that he owned. He probably served in that position for several more years. Ultimately, Potiphar’s wife became attracted to Joseph. The Bible does not tell us her name, but the apocryphal Book of Jasher says that her name was Zelica. What happened, and didn’t happen, between Joseph and Zelica is one of the most famous stories of all time:

And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife looked at Joseph; and she said, lie with me. But he refused, and said…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?…And she seized him by her clothes, saying, Lie down with me; and he, leaving her clothes in her hand, fled from her and got him out of her. And it came to pass… that he called the men of his house, and spoke to them saying… he came to me to lie down with me, and I wept with a loud voice… ”(NIV Genesis 39:6-20)

When Potiphar heard his wife’s words, he was angry and sent Joseph to jail. Apparently due to his integrity in rejecting his boss’s wife, Joseph lost his job and was jailed for a long time.

So, in short, despite constantly trying to do the right thing, Joseph was sentenced to slavery for years and then imprisoned, both extremely undeserved and unfair. Joseph was innocent of having done wrong and yet he suffered.

We don’t know how long Joseph was a slave or how long he was in jail, but we do know that he got out of jail when he was thirty and was about seventeen when he went to Egypt. That means that Joseph spent about thirteen years as a slave or prisoner. If you were Joseph, do you think you might have been feeling frustrated and bitter? Despite his circumstances, he continued to do what he had always done: trust God, work hard, and hope for better things. Eventually this worked fine for him so the log says:

But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the eyes of the jailer. And the jailer delivered into the hand of Joseph all the prisoners that were in the jail; and everything they did there, he was the doer. The jailer did not look at anything that he had under his hand; because Jehovah was with him, and what he did, Jehovah made him prosper. (KJV Genesis 39:21-23)

While José was in prison, his attitude and behavior were outstanding. He was so helpful and trustworthy that he was promoted to superintendent of the prison. Due to his faithfulness and this promotion, he was able to help and bless the other prisoners who shared the filth around him.

Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had two of his personal servants imprisoned because he suspected they were involved in a plot to kill him. After they were incarcerated, they both had separate but vivid dreams. Since José had a spiritual gift for interpreting dreams, he offered to help them. To summarize briefly, Joseph told the chief steward that his dream meant that he would be released from prison and restored to his former position. Joseph asked him to talk to Pharaoh to get him out of prison as well. Then Joseph told the chief baker that his dream meant that he would be executed. What Joseph told each man happened within three days.

Two years later, Pharaoh had a disturbing dream that upset him. None of his wise men could give him a satisfactory interpretation. The chief cupbearer, who had been released from prison as Joseph predicted, remembered that Joseph could interpret dreams and told Pharaoh about him. Pharaoh commanded that Joseph be cleaned and brought to him. Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and give him wise advice regarding a coming famine. Pharaoh was so impressed that he released Joseph from prison and made him his adviser and second-in-command over all of Egypt.

Joseph saved thousands of lives in Egypt and beyond by preparing the country for the impending famine. Later, through a series of dramatic events, he forgave his brothers and arranged for his entire family to go to Egypt.

What did Joseph do and how can we do the same? Joseph managed to turn every experience, even the bad ones, into something good. It has been said that

This ability to turn everything into something good [is a divine] characteristic. [God] always seems able to do this. Everything, no matter how terrible, becomes a victory for the Lord. Joseph, even though he was a slave and did not deserve this fate at all, remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the commandments and did something very good with his degrading circumstances. Such people cannot be defeated, because they will not give up. (Hartman Rector Jr., “Live Above the Law to Be Free,” Ensign, Jan. 1973).

When cruel, unfair, or heartbreaking things happen in our lives, it’s tempting to assume vengeful intent and think things like: “People have hurt me and I’m going to hurt them back.” But that is faulty thinking. If Joseph had acted that way, he might well have been devoured by the fictitious beast that his brothers invented to disguise his crime against him. He would probably have wallowed in self-pity, he would have lived an uncelebrated life and died an ignominious death. But he did not. Joseph is one of the most remembered and honored men of all time because he just kept moving forward in a positive direction.

José’s story inspires us to remember that no matter how bad our circumstances, anyone can be the kind of person who chooses to persist in working, hoping, helping and inspiring others to do the same, even if others have been cruel. unjust or treacherous

If you want to be happy and help others to be happy, you can do it despite difficult circumstances. You can do it like Jose did. You can endure and escape your personal prisons, no matter what they are. You can be victorious. And maybe even help a few, or a few thousand, escape their onerous situations.

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