Why I wrote my book
This is going to be a kind of an odd post, because I have to tell you why I wrote my book about Joseph’s story, and about why his faith journey is unique, without really telling you my plot or spoiling anything.
Not that tons of people don’t know how his story goes, but my point in writing my book wasn’t really to tell his story straight out. Because, like I said, most people know the main story beats already. My intention was to tell his personal story. As in, my story isn’t just about “What happened to him.” It’s about “Why he was the person he was.”
And, to be honest, I thought about not including him in my faith series because of all of these “spoiler-complications,” but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Because there’s just too much good stuff here!
So. Now to begin this tightrope-walk of a post!
If you look at where Joseph’s story begins, it’s not a good situation. As I described in a post a few weeks back, his father, Jacob, despite his good points in regard to his faith, was a full-blown jerk of a person in most other respects.
For instance, the whole situation where Joseph’s brothers hated him enough to sell him off as a slave happened because Jacob decided to be a polygamist who blatantly favored the oldest son of his favorite wife (this would be Joseph) over all his other children.
And, if you read the entire story, you can see that there’s a whole lot of other awful stuff happening in the family. For instance, Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, gets raped by the son of a local ruler. Jacob does nothing except entertain the idea of marrying her off to her rapist. Then, two of her brothers go out and murder every man in the town rather than have her marry the prince. After which, Jacob does nothing. Later, Jacob’s oldest son has an affair with one of Jacob’s concubines. Jacob also does nothing.
It’s a mess.
Clearly, we can see from all of this that Jacob is not teaching or leading his family in a way that honors God, despite his own personal faith. And this is the origin of this myriad of family problems.
Now, what’s interesting is the case of Joseph.
If you read the story, you can see that Joseph seems to go though an interesting change, but it’s not a very obvious one. It is this:
We never hear anything about Joseph’s relationship with God until after he is sold as a slave.
And, it kind of makes sense. It’s pretty obvious, as I said, that Jacob wasn’t teaching his family much about his God. And, Joseph wasn’t innocent of contributing to the family insanity. I’ve heard it said that, when he had dreams of greatness and shared them with his brothers (who obviously hated him), that he just wasn’t reading the room correctly.
I’d have to beg to differ. Joseph is shown to be many things, but stupid is not one of them. I’d say “vengeful and fed-up teen” describes him much better, here.
Then we have a very interesting question.
How does someone, raised in such a family, and then put in such a situation as to be sold as a slave by his own brothers, end up with so much faith in God?
I mean, he was dealt a downright heinous hand in life, and seemingly had no real background in faith to draw from.
And when I say so much faith in God, I mean it. If you read the story, by the end, Joseph is a textbook example of how to have faith in God and forgive others. Honestly, I’d even argue that he’s the first fully positive role model whose story is presented in the Bible. And that’s a whole lot of history to pass over before having someone whose story is worth presenting in that way.
This, then, is why I had to write my book! I had to dive in to this story and figure out a plausible and fully realistic explanation for such a unique journey of faith.
I hope to be able to share it with you soon!