August 15, 2008

Job Training

In the last few days my Bible reading has taken me back to the story of Joseph. I love that story! Yesterday I noticed something I hadn't seen before. This tale contains a fair bit of repetition, which I suddenly recognized as the repetition of education. During those first years in Egypt, Joseph was in school - and retaking the same subject, just at different levels:

University - Potiphar's house: "Then he made him overseer of his house and all that he had was put under his authority." (Genesis 39:4)

Grad School - Prison: "And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing." (Genesis 39:22)

I wonder if Joseph ever got discouraged all those days of serving, wondering what had become of his boyhood dreams. After he connected with the Butler, asked him to take up his case with Pharaoh, and then nothing happened, did he ever battle discouragement or even depression? Who would have blamed him if he did?

Then one day, with no warning, it came.

Graduation Day and the offer of a Plum Job - Pharaoh's Assistant. And didn't the job description have a familiar ring to it? Pharaoh: "You shall be over my house and all my people shall be ruled according to your word." (Genesis 41:40)

Highlights in Joseph's Life - by Annie Vallotton

What does this have to do with you and me? It tells us to keep being faithful in what we're doing, for God's training takes many guises. We may not feel that it is preparing us for anything. In fact, it may seem we're going around in circles, taking the same subject again and again. But God knows exactly the amount of expertise we need. In due time we'll graduate. Our steadfastness through all the training will ensure that we are ready for the Plum Job that's waiting for us.


  1. Encouraging! I forget that God uses the "little" roles in my ministry to train me. Thanks for the insights.

  2. This would be a good one to expand! As Pam says, we do forget that we are works in progress and often fail to make the connection between what is happening and what God is doing. Good reminder!

  3. Thanks for the insight. It reminds me again that "life" is a school of learning.
    Joseph is one of my favourite bible characters. God knew from the beginning His plan for him. He knows the plan for our lives. Blessings to you! GM


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