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49:23). As such, he is a picture of suffering   wept through each trial of his brothers,
        for good, for what is right and Christ-like.   and each lesson they learned from his hand
        However, this does not mean the pain was   tore his heart.
        any less than one who suffers for doing   His lessons were hard, but necessary.
        wrong! In fact, such suffering may be felt   They despised his true report and search at
        more keenly. The thief on the cross knew he   Dothan as a youth, and so they must know
        suffered the due reward of his deeds, and   the pain of suffering as untrue spies in his
        he expected the punishment (Luk 23:41).    kingdom. They sold him for silver, and so
          What a slap to young Joseph when he   they feared to find that silver in the mouth
        obediently found his brothers in Dothan,   of their grain sacks. They disposed of him
        and then stumbled, hours later, friendless   as their authority, and so they despaired
        and in chains behind a Midianite caravan!   to find his ruler’s cup with Benjamin.  He
        Potiphar’s wife robbed him of any chance   was lost to his father and family, but they
        to defend himself before his master. Cast   marveled when he knew them by age and
        down, he was hurled into the prison in a   birthright.
        rash of anger. Some chronologies suggest   Before his sinful brothers, with Christ-
        Joseph may have suffered more than five
        years in the dungeons, laboring before   like compassion, Joseph suffered not for his
        Pharaoh’s dreams woke him up to the light   own righteousness, but that they might be
        of the palace. While God meant it for good,   right before God. He taught them, forgave
        Joseph knew the pain of suffering for the   them, and embraced them. His words are
        wrongs of others, and the iron entered his   compassion: be not grieved, be not angry
        soul (Psa 105:18).                   with yourselves, God did send me to pre-
                                             serve life (Gen 45:5). “But Joseph said to
        The Response of the Sufferer         them … ‘As for you, you meant evil against
          It is clear that Joseph suffered for doing   me, but God meant it for good, to bring it
        good and right before God. However, the   about that many people should be kept
        greatest evidence of Joseph’s suffering for   alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I
        righteousness is seen in the coming of his   will provide for you and your little ones.’
        brothers to Egypt. With slavery and prison   Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly
        behind him, the ruler of Egypt saves the   to them” (Gen 50:19-21 ESV).
        empire and averts a great famine by the   The Result of the Strife
        wisdom of God. Food abounds while crops
        fail, and the nations and tribes around are   Joseph’s pains brought the sons of Israel
        forced to Egypt to buy grain. It is under   to Goshen, where God needed them in
        these conditions we see his dreams ful-  the famine. His suffering on their behalf
        filled, and we witness his greatest pain.  ensured that Israel, as a complete nation,
          The “Savior of the World” didn’t cry   would grow and ultimately return to Ca-
        when the Midianite traders hauled him to   naan in His time. The glory of this suffering
        Egypt. There were no tears in Potiphar’s   saint was not his own righteousness, but
        house. Day after day of dreary prison work   that his righteous heart suffered so others
        was met with silence, not sobs. But when   could be used by God as well. When trials
        10 sons of Jacob appeared to buy grain,   befall us, we can suffer for doing good,
        Joseph wept great tears. In fact, Joseph   even doing good for others (1Pe 3:17).

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