Genesis 37:27-28 – “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.” NASU
The story of Joseph is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible, for me. It is an account of a young man who had heard the story of his great-grandfather Abraham from his father and grandfather from the time he could remember. He was educated and the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant had been planted in his heart day after day. It took root and produced the fruit of righteousness and faith as is evidenced in what transpired in his life.
Here in Genesis 37, we find his brothers selling him to the Ishmaelites who sold him to Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, the captain of the bodyguard of Pharaoh. But in Psalm 105:18-19 we find these words regarding Joseph – “They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons; 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.” NASU If you trace the route likely taken by the caravan it would have passed within eyesight of Jacob’s camp. Joseph had been trussed up like an animal, placed in a cage and hung on the side of a camel. It was more than just being chained it affected him to his inner person and had he not handled it, in God, he would have died a bitter old man in Egypt but he didn’t.
His troubles didn’t end in Potiphar’s house where he is falsely accused of attempted rape and it seems that Potiphar believed Joseph was innocent because Egyptian law required the offender to be killed but instead of killing Joseph he imprisoned him. He had to save face and do something but he did not exercise the demand of the law that tells me that he believed Joseph. In prison, Joseph was promoted because of God’s hand upon him and had he been a bitter man that would never have happened. Each trial only made him better rather than bitter. He was tested by God and when the right time came he was promoted to 2nd in the most powerful nation of the existing world of his day. God worked all things together for his good. None of them were good in themselves individually but when they worked together they produced a mighty, godly, powerful leader that would preserve the seed nation of the Messiah.
In life things either make us “bitter or better” and the choice is ours. We can elect to become bitter and angry, filled with resentment and seek revenge or allow the desire and drive to retaliate to rise or we can become “better” and “godly”. God is there for us but allows us to make the choice. Everything in life is an opportunity to either become embittered or rise to new heights in God and become more Christ-like. It is our choice!
May God help you become better not bitter in life! Blessings as you go through your day!