The Story of Redemption


Joseph in Egypt

Joseph's brethren purposed to kill him, but were finally content to sell him as a slave, to prevent his becoming greater than themselves. They thought they had placed him where they would be no more troubled with his dreams, and where there would not be a possibility of their fulfillment. But the very course which they pursued God overruled to bring about that which they designed never should take place—that he should have dominion over them. SR 101.2

God did not leave Joseph to go into Egypt alone. Angels prepared the way for his reception. Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, bought him of the Ishmaelites. And the Lord was with Joseph, and He prospered him and gave him favor with his master, so that all he possessed he entrusted to Joseph's care. “And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat.” It was considered an abomination for a Hebrew to prepare food for an Egyptian. SR 101.3

When Joseph was tempted to deviate from the path of right, to transgress the law of God and prove untrue to his master, he firmly resisted and gave evidence of the elevating power of the fear of God in his answer to his master's wife. After speaking of the great confidence of his master in him, by entrusting all that he had with him, he exclaimed, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” He would not be persuaded to deviate from the path of righteousness and trample upon God's law by any inducements or threats. SR 101.4

And when he was accused, and a base crime was falsely laid to his charge, he did not sink in despair. In the consciousness of innocence and right he still trusted God. And God, who had hitherto supported him, did not forsake him. He was bound with fetters and kept in a gloomy prison. Yet God turned even this misfortune into a blessing. He gave him favor with the keeper of the prison, and to Joseph was soon committed the charge of all the prisoners. SR 102.1

Here is an example to all generations who should live upon the earth. Although they may be exposed to temptations, yet they should ever realize that there is a defense at hand, and it will be their own fault if they are not preserved. God will be a present help, and His Spirit a shield. Although surrounded with the severest temptations, there is a source of strength to which they can apply and resist them. SR 102.2

How fierce was the assault upon Joseph's morals. It came from one of influence, the most likely to lead astray. Yet how promptly and firmly was it resisted. He suffered for his virtue and integrity, for she who would lead him astray revenged herself upon the virtue she could not subvert, and by her influence caused him to be cast into prison, by charging him with a foul wrong. Here Joseph suffered because he would not yield his integrity. He had placed his reputation and interest in the hands of God. And although he was suffered to be afflicted for a time, to prepare him to fill an important position, yet God safely guarded that reputation that was blackened by a wicked accuser, and afterward, in His own good time, caused it to shine. God made even the prison the way to his elevation. Virtue will in time bring its own reward. The shield which covered Joseph's heart was the fear of God, which caused him to be faithful and just to his master and true to God. SR 102.3

Although Joseph was exalted as a ruler over all the land, yet he did not forget God. He knew that he was a stranger in a strange land, separated from his father and his brethren, which often caused him sadness, but he firmly believed that God's hand had overruled his course, to place him in an important position. And, depending on God continually, he performed all the duties of his office, as ruler over the land of Egypt, with faithfulness. SR 103.1

Joseph walked with God. He would not be persuaded to deviate from the path of righteousness and transgress God's law, by any inducement or threats. His self-control and patience in adversity and his unwavering fidelity are left on record for the benefit of all who should afterward live on the earth. When Joseph's brethren acknowledged their sin before him, he freely forgave them and showed by his acts of benevolence and love that he harbored no resentful feelings for their former cruel conduct toward him. SR 103.2