As a teenager Joseph was naïve and innocent and more than a little bit pre-occupied with himself. As a child he had been protected and showered with love and special treatment by his father. He probably thought that the rest of the world loved him just the same. But his naïveté got him into trouble when he told his brothers about his dreams and showed off the beautiful coat his father had given him. He probably couldn’t imagine that they would be offended; after all he was the golden boy.
This is a classic story of good and evil: the goodness of Joseph contrasted with the evil perpetrated by his brothers and those who will appear later in the story. And though at times they seemed locked in a never-ending struggle, goodness eventually triumphs over evil as God’s purposes unfold. As Saint Paul wrote in his Letter to the Romans “All things work together for good for those who love God.”
Even though Joseph was abandoned by his older brothers and sold into slavery, he was careful not to give up on God. Even when he was falsely accused and jailed for molesting his master’s wife, Joseph trusted in God. While he was in prison, his ability to interpret dreams became known to the Pharaoh, who eventually released him and raised him up to a position only second to his own. Just as Joseph believed he would, God brought good out of evil for him and for all the people around him. In his new position, Joseph was able to save both Egypt and the Israelites from a devastating famine.
God always works good for those who love him. More often than not it’s only with hindsight that we can see where God has been at work in our lives. If, like Joseph, we can face the tough times with faith and trust in God’s promises, then who knows what blessings God has in store for us?