Thursday, January 15, 2015

Humility--A Hard Lesson To Learn

Joseph’s brothers viewed his relating his dreams as boastful and divisive. The Bible really doesn't address just why Joseph felt compelled to relate those stories to his brothers. While it turned out that they were definitely messages from God, Joseph could have saved himself the grief of alienating his brothers by keeping it to himself until the facts of the matter came to light. One (of many) possible reasons that Joseph related those dreams was that, as the second-youngest, he may have felt unimportant and tried to use his favored position with his father to irritate his brothers.

The brothers correctly interpreted the dreams and that is what angered them more than anything—that their younger brother would actually rule over them. So Joseph reaped the wrath of his brothers. During Joseph’s travel to Egypt with the caravan, during the servitude to Potiphar, having to face the false accusation of Potiphar's wife, being in a prison cell, all of those experiences humbled and matured Joseph. When Joseph finally was taken to Pharaoh to interpret two dreams, Joseph humbly gave all credit to God. Even if his relating the dreams to his brothers had been nothing more naive inexperience in life and interpersonal relationships, by the time he got out of prison, he realized that he himself is not important. It was God and his purpose for man that was important.

Whether Joseph at first suffered from a bloated sense of self-worth or not, we can certainly apply the lesson to ourselves in our dealings with others. Even those who do have privileges of service to God should never use those to boast about themselves or raise their opinion above others. Jehovah can indeed accomplish his will with or without us. He would much rather be inclusive and have us with him, but when we demonstrate arrogance, we can be assured God will give us the training we need.

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