The Joseph Moment

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Genesis tells of a moment in Joseph's life when he provided a commentary on his life in one sentence:

Speaking to his brothers who had abused him, and having come into power enough to banish them, Joseph says, ' You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result – the survival of many people. (Genesis 50:20 CSB)

Astonishing. That Joseph could comprehend the overall Kingdom purpose in his suffering. That Joseph could forgive his brothers for their betrayal. That Joseph seemed to have grown beyond his impetuous youth. That Joseph led as the godly prime minister of Egypt, the heathen nation, under Pharaoh. That Joseph, used of God, led in such a way as to interpret the times and institute decisive wisdom.

Psalm 37 is a wisdom psalm that promises the vindication of the faithful in verses 5-6:

"Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him, and he will act,

making your righteousness shine like the dawn,

your justice like the noonday. "

Indeed …

The faithful will wait unto eternity for their vindication,

but how good is God when it comes about in this life!

This is what I term The Joseph Moment. So very many of us await our respective Joseph Moments. That time when vindication will come. In the tradition of Habakkuk 2: 3, vindication as revelation does not tarry; the moment when justice as foreseen does directly come. If not here, it will come in the swiftest moment over the horizon.

But there's a test, if it comes this side of eternity:

The Test

Joseph's moment came. He could have vanquished his brothers but didn't. He could have let the power of his prime-ministership go to his head, but it didn't. He could have missed God's plan and purpose for what he had suffered in his life, but he didn't. The biblical account tells us that Joseph must have been tempted to respond through vengeance, but he didn't. He continued doing the best he could despite the unjust and unjustifiable circumstances. He genuinely grew through betrayal, getting better not remaining bitter.

In his redemptive moment, Joseph was proven pure as refined gold and silver. All the dross of resentment had been burned off. He had prepared well for his redemptive moment, and thank God he had!

If our Joseph moment comes in the council of witnesses on this earth, when we're still so sin-stained, will we respond as Joseph did?

You see, vindication is its own test; it's not in and of itself the reprieve and justice we always imagined it to be. We must pray that our hearts receive the Joseph moment in humility enough to glorify God which is always the wisdom of God's gift of grace expended to others through forgiveness.

While we wait for our vindication, let's pray we have the spiritual fortitude to withstand the temptation of retribution when the moment comes.

Only the pure of heart deserve vindication, and so if we're honest, we'll honestly not hanker for a moment that could reveal the identity that falls short.

Just as we're tested by the praise we receive, as much and more are we tested by the grace we bestow (or not) when God heralds justice.

Other Bible verses worthy of reflection in context:

"A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold,

and the Lord is the tester of hearts. "(Proverbs 17: 3 CSB)

"The fear of the Lord

is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and discipline. "(Proverbs 1: 7 CSB)

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