Faith in Betrayal

⭐️I use I imagine and I believe, because that is not fact. Only Gods’ infallible Word is fact.

God was with Abraham, and he was with his son Isaac. Just as God was with Jacob his grandson, and great grandson Joseph.  Joseph knew from the time he was sitting in that cistern alone, afraid, and betrayed that God had not left him.  In fact, I imagine as heard his brothers banter over his fate, when he heard them discuss the Ishmaelite’s approaching I believe he did not shrink back. I assume from the text he probably heard them reference selling him to the Midianite’s, and maybe just for a moment, his mind was taken to stories he had heard as a child. Joseph would have known about the mighty hand of God on his family, and the countless stories of betrayal turned redemption. He knew of the fulfillment of Gods promises through his grandfather Isaac.  Isaac was born to his grandmother Sarah when she was in her 90’s.  Joseph had to know the story of his great grandfather Abraham sacrificing his grandfather Isaac.  I wonder if as he sat abandoned in the cistern he thought about Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac, the son he had waited for…I wonder if he thought God is going to make a great nation out of my family, this was not fate for my grandfather, God intervened and he will intervene for me. You would think he was told about the time his grandfather realized there was no lamb. I imagine he thought of the faith of Abraham as he answered his sweet boy Isaac when he questioned  ‘father where is Lamb?’ I don’t know if he thought these things, but if I knew the story, that happened to my grandmother or grandfather, as I sat in desperation, I would remind myself of truth, and draw on the many stories of hope from my families past.  I would think of how God saved my relatives with his righteous right hand.  I would think of how Abraham responded knowing what he was being asked to do… He responded this way in Genesis 22:8: 

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

He knew how his grandfather, Isaac was laid out and bound like a sheep to be slaughtered for sacrifice the text says in Genesis 22:9B:

He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

He knew God spared his grandfather from death…He knew that at the moment his great grandfather lifted his hand by faith and an angel of the Lord called him in Genesis 22:12-14:

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son. ” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. ”

For a moment I think Joseph had hope, because he knew that he came from a family with a promised inheritance and that The Lord would in fact Provide. He also knew the story of his great grandfather Abraham and his faith in seeking out a wife for his grandfather Isaac.  I imagine the words from Genesis 24:40 pierced his heart and echoed throughout his mind:

He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family.

He had heard countless stories passed down about speaking blessing by faith over himself and his family.  I think Joseph also knew that his grandfather married his grandmother through the mighty hand of God alone.  Rebekah, said yes and went with a servant of her future husband without even laying eyes on him.  She left the only life she had ever known. Her mother and brother, Laban said let her stay with us for 10 Days, and when asked if she would go, she said this by faith in Genesis 24:58:

So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.

Joseph knew of his grandmothers story, he knew that sometimes the unknown has blessing, and I would like to think he may have had the words “I will go” also echo through his mind, because he knew his families story.  Joseph knew the story of his father Jacob.  When his grandmother conceived it was a miracle because she was barren.  His father and Uncle were answered prayer as seen in Genesis 25:21-23: 

Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. ”

Joseph knew that his father was answered prayer.  I think he had heard about his beloved father Jacob and his Uncle Esau. I think he heard stories from his father, Jacob, and knew he never felt the approval of his father.  He was jealous and as a result had stolen his brother, Esau’s birthright and blessing. Joseph must have heard of his father’s fleeing to his mother’s brothers house, to obtain a wife. Joseph also knew his father grew up near Beer Lahai Roi which means well of the Living One who sees me. The place where his great grandfather Abraham’s slave mistress, Hagar ran out into the desert when she was kicked out of their camp by Sarah, for something she had been asked to do…have a son.  His grandfather Isaac and father Jacob lived in the place where the God who Sees appeared. I would like to think Joseph knew that no matter what, the God who Sees, was with him in the cistern.  I think Joseph knew and remembered that God spoke to his father and made a promise in Genesis 28:14-16:

Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. ” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

I imagine Joseph repeating his father, Jacobs’s words to himself.  The words that Jacob heard in a dream from God that were this ‘I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.’ I imagine he remembered that his father Jacob was promised his mother, Rachel, and on his wedding night was tricked by his grandmother, Rebekah’s brother Laban.  I imagined he reminded himself that his father Jacobs’ story turned out for good, because after all he was living proof that he eventually married his true love.  I imagine he thought to himself sitting for what seemed like years, Lord you can make this feel like a few days, because my father felt like that when he worked for 14 years for my mom as mentioned in Genesis 29:20:

So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

‘God was faithful to my father’ I imagine he thought, ‘he will be faithful to me.’  I also imagine he knew the story of his birth and Gods’ faithfulness to his mother Rachel.  I am sure he had heard from his mother, father, Aunt, brothers about how his mother had to watch her sister have 7 children(6 boys) before God allowed her to conceive Joseph as it says in Genesis 30:22-24:

Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” She named him Joseph, and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”

I imagine Joseph thought about the faithfulness of the Lord to his mother, he thought of the significance of his own name ‘God has taken away my disgrace.’ Maybe, just maybe he thought my mother named me ‘God has taken away my disgrace,’ and in this cistern he will take away my disgrace, if not now, in the future’…and had some hope in a situation that was against all hope sitting alone and betrayed.  Gods’ word says Joseph knew he was chosen, after all he dreamed dreams, God was with him and showed him favor up until this point in Genesis 37:5-7:

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

Gods’ favor never left Joseph. I believe Joseph was able to see Gods’ faithfulness to his family in the past, even amidst all the betrayal, deceit, stolen blessing, barrenness, wandering, sacrifice, and rejection he had heard through every story passed down. I write all this as backstory because you see that Gods’ plan, his chosen people, and his purpose fulfilled was not achieved without pain. I see Gods’ plan so much more clearly when it is listed.  I think because Joseph knew through the history of his family that life is lived in both the valley and mountain top.  I see how generationally God was faithful, and I would like to think he saw faithfulness as well.  Although He had seen a pattern of generational sin with deceit, sorrow, barrenness, fear, fleeing, hiding, and jealousy; He had seen the Mighty One, Who is Mighty to Save, save his family time and time again.  He saw Gods’ faithfulness woven throughout each of these circumstances.  I believe in the moment he swirled with a range of emotions, many emotions…but I also believe he remembered how God had showed up time and time again.  He rejected Fear and replaced it with Faith.

As he sat in the cistern, as he was sold into slavery, as he was wrongly accused by Pharaoh, as he sat in the jail cell for years, as he looked into the eyes of those he trusted, after such a great betrayal, as they begged to be fed, relocated, and saved… after all those years I believe he was able to answer this way because of his faith in God.  I see a man who chose to remember Gods’ great faithfulness to his family. You see I believe this is the case because, I have let bitterness and fear build up, and Joseph answered his brothers out of love, hope, and forgiveness that only springs out of faith in God, not bitterness.  So although his thoughts are not mentioned in the text, I have to believe God and God only sustained him.  In that moment of decision he had to choose to forgive or to make them pay for their atrocities to him.  I would recall a similar moment if I were him…a moment he watched happen, instead of heard about, he remembered his past as a boy as he watched his father beg for forgiveness of his brother Esau of whom he had stolen so much… in Genesis 33:3-6:

He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 

Joseph saw his father seek forgiveness with a repentant heart (somewhat deceitful), and he saw the gracious forgiveness of his Uncle. All of those moments recorded in the text, of Joseph’s maybe remembering, I imagine led him to do the unthinkable, forgive, love, and with a joyful heart warmly accept them back into his life.

I challenge myself and you today, to list Gods faithfulness not only in your life, but in the lives of your relatives.  I encourage you if you have been blessed with children to not only repeat to them stories of Gods faithfulness in there life, but your life, and remind them of the faithfulness he showed to the generations that came before them.  His word says teach your children in Deuteronomy 11:19:

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

We teach by word and action. When we remind ourselves of his great faithfulness, and praise him as the God Who Sees, remind our children of their story, and our story; we build our faith and theirs.  It prepares their hearts for the battles they will have to sing through in the future.  It help creates an attitude of thankfulness and helps us stop looking at the moment through the key hole view that we have.  It reminds us and our children of the bigger picture and challenges them to have faith and know that there is so much they can’t see that is temporal, and that God works out all things for the good of those who love him.  Just as Joseph was able to say to his brothers in Egypt in Genesis 50:19-21:

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. ” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

I want me children and future generations to be able to declare that when the enemy tried to take my mom out or myself, she/I looked fear, doubt, tragedy in the eye and said ‘what Satan intended to cause harm for my life, God intended for good.’  I want them to realize all their great God has done for them.  I want my children and every child of God out there to realize that if you take the time to remember, not only will the joy of the Lord be your strength, but yours eyes will be opened and you will realize that those who are with us, the one that is with us, are more than those that are with the world and it’s chaos, no matter what hole of betrayal you may find yourself in…

2 Kings 6:16-17

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

🙏Prayer for my children:

God I praise you that You Will Provide

Lord my prayer for my children and myself is that all the days of their/my life we would remember how You have provided for our family and utter the words of Abraham as he went to sacrifice his son of promise in whatever desperation they find themselves in and say God himself will provide

God I praise you that You make all my journey’s successful

My prayer is that when God asks my children or I to go on a journey, they will say just as God was with Abraham, God will send his angel with me and make my journey a success.  When they are asked to go, they will think of Rebekah who left her home, and will respond like her and say I will go

God I praise you that You are the Living One Who Sees ME

I pray that when my children find themselves in a desert they remind themselves of Hagar, rejected, abandoned, and alone and they choose to live to drink from the well of the Living One Who Sees me, Beer Lahai Roi.

God I praise you that My children seek you and pray for others

When we are in need and am unable to get what comes naturally for most people they will remember Jacobs prayer for his wife, and they will pray to the Lord on behalf of someone they love.

God I praise you that My children know you are with them wherever they go

When they are fearful about what life will bring, that they will think of Jacob, and think God is with  me and will watch over me wherever I go, and He will bring me back and will not leave me until He has done what He has promised.

God I praise you that You always remember, listen, and fulfill your plan

I hope my children think of Rachel, and say God remembered me, he will listen and enable me to do anything according to his plan.

God I praise you that in everything You intend for my good

I pray when my children find themselves in a battle they are able to look at all situations and say to their enemy What You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. That they are not afraid and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord will provide.

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