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Joseph (Old Testament)
(Name means - may God add or increase.)

There are a number of Josephs found in the Bible. Three we most often think of are: Joseph who became second in Egypt, Joseph the step-father of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathaea who gave his tomb to Jesus. We are going to study about the first Joseph mentioned. His was a story of rags to riches, a man who went from a pit to a palace. We are going to look at his life and character that we may understand the source of his greatness and how God used him for His glory.

1. During his boyhood days Joseph was a dreamer. The interesting thing to remember is that his dreams came true. Genesis 37:5-9 & 41:42-44.

2. His jealous brothers wanted to kill him but consented to selling him to a passing caravan. Genesis 37:18-28.

3. Joseph was made a slave, but faithfully discharged his duties. God's people must sometimes serve in difficult circumstances. Genesis 39:1-6 & 20-23.

4. He enjoyed God's presence and was blessed to gain the confidence of his master. Genesis 39: 2 & 4.

5. Evidentially Joseph was physically a very handsome man. However, he refused to let it lead him into sinful practices. Genesis 39:6.

6. Joseph resisted the temptations of satan through his master's wife. She pursued him but he would not commit a "great wickedness." Genesis 39:7-13.

7. Joseph remained unspoiled by his new prosperity. During times of honor by the people, he did not get caught up in pride and vain glory. Genesis 41:14-16.

8. He kept his faith even during times of false imprisonment. It was there that God used him to be an interpreter of dreams, not just a dreamer. Genesis 40:1-23.

9. Joseph also interpreted pharaoh's dream about the famine. God blessed him to become second in command in Egypt. Genesis 41:25-44.

10. Joseph manifested great love and forgiveness to his brothers. He did not try to get even with them by an act of vengeance. Genesis 45:1-15.

11. He made arrangements to move his family to Egypt. He loved his family and thus sought that which was for their welfare. Genesis 47:1-10.

12. Joseph had great confidence in God's providence. He recognized that God is able to take the evil designs of men and bring something good out of them. Genesis 50:15-21.

Joseph was considered a great man in Jewish history. When the children of Israel were divinely delivered from Egypt, they carried his bones as he had requested. Therefore by faith he saw their deliverance and was listed in the catalogue of men and women of "great faith" (Hebrews 11:22). He truly honored God by his life and as such became a character worthy of our study and contemplation. May we be encouraged and strengthened by our study of such a noble character whom God used for His glory.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014