Joseph takes pain, complicated relationships, and anxiety with him as he travels to Egypt, where he is to be sold as a slave. This was not a restful trip as he fought back the tears.
“Meanwhile, Joseph with his captors was on the way to Egypt. As the caravan journeyed southward toward the borders of Canaan, the boy could discern in the distance the hills among which lay his father’s tents. Bitterly he wept at the thought of that loving father in his loneliness and affliction.
Again the scene at Dothan came up before him. He saw his angry brothers and felt their fierce glances bent upon him. The stinging, insulting words that had met his agonized entreaties were ringing in his ears. With a trembling heart he looked forward to the future. What a change in situation — from the tenderly cherished son to the despised and helpless slave! Alone and friendless, what would be his lot in the strange land to which he was going? For a time Joseph gave himself up to uncontrolled grief and terror. …
Then his thoughts turned to his father’s God. In his childhood he had been taught to love and fear Him. Often in his father’s tent he had listened to the story of the vision that Jacob saw as he fled from his home an exile and a fugitive. … Now all these precious lessons came vividly before him. Joseph believed that the God of his fathers would be his God. He then and there gave himself fully to the Lord, and he prayed that the Keeper of Israel would be with him in the land of his exile.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 213, 214 (italics supplied).
Some cultures emphasize the role of the community over the individual, while other cultures are inclined to emphasize the role of the individual over the community. While we find a balance between these two in Scripture, there is clearly a call to personal as well as corporate commitment to God. Joseph begins to find rest in his relationships by making a personal decision to follow God.
What do the following verses teach us about personal commitment? (Deuteronomy 4:29, Joshua 24:15, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 14:2, Proverbs 8:10, Isaiah 55:6).
To find rest, we each must make a personal decision to follow God. Even if our ancestors were spiritual giants, this faith and spirituality aren’t transmitted genetically. Remember, God has only children, no grandchildren.
|Why is it important every day, even every moment of every day, to choose to commit yourself to God? What happens when you don’t?|