Psalm 105:16 When he summoned famine against the land, and broke every staff of bread, 17 he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 His feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron; 19 until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord kept testing him. 20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free. 21 He made him lord of his house,and ruler of all his possessions, 22 to instruct his officials at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.
The psalmist here is recounting the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Joseph was the 11th of 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob. Normally, an 11th son would be very low in the family heirarchy, with the eldest son at the top – second only to the father. But, Joseph was the first son born from Jacob’s wife Rachel, whom Jacob loved dearly – so Joseph was treated as if HE were the ELDEST son. This did not go over well with the other brothers, as you can imagine.
And to top it off, God gave to Joseph visions of his future. God revealed to the boy that he Joseph would one day rule over his brothers, and save his entire family from famine. Being young and stupid, Joseph shared this vision with his brothers – who hated him all the more. They eventually threw Joseph in the bottom of a deep pit and left him for dead. They explained Joseph’s disappearance by telling their father he had been attacked by wild animals and was killed.
Well, Joseph didn’t die, but was rescued and sold into slavery. For many years Joseph lived as a slave and even found himself in prison. Things did not look good. Yet, God was with Joseph and gave him favor. Joseph was eventually second only to Pharaoh in Egypt, saving his family from starvation by providing food to them. As God had predicted.
Joseph eventually fulfilled God’s dream but had to endure great hardship in the process.
Why do I mention Joseph this morning? Because, like Joseph, some of you are stuck in the proverbial “pit”. You’ve expected better things, perhaps even received a word from the Lord, but have yet to see such things come to pass. You’ve experienced one obstacle after another, to the point where you wonder if things will ever get better. Will you spend the rest of your life in the pit?
Most everyone gets to spend time in the pit. We go through seasons where obstacles come one after another. But do not despair dear sister/brother. Things are often most difficult – just before the breakthrough.
Lord Jesus, today I pray for all those struggling in the pit. Give them grace to endure hardship and to never lose hope that better times are ahead. I pray this in your holy name. Amen.