“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives” (Genesis 37:2)
When Joseph is introduced in Genesis 37, we learn that he is one of Jacob’s sons, and is pasturing the flock with his ten older brothers. At first sight, there is nothing special about him. The only thing that differentiates Joseph from his older brothers is the fact that his mother was Rachel, Jacob’s dearest wife.Apart from that, he is a shepherd boy like all others. So why does the Bible introduce Joseph to us?
Earlier on in Genesis, we read about Joseph’s great grandfather Abraham, and about God’s promises to him. The Lord had promised Abraham many descendants, and these would be a blessing to all nations. God had special plans for this family.
Joseph’s life story tells us how God chose an ordinary boy to play a key role in those plans. In the end, Joseph himself would conclude about his life that “God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20). But the way towards God’s glorious goal was not easy for Joseph!
Let’s delve deeper into his life story and see how God transformed him through hardships and sufferings, but never left him alone.
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