What Joseph’s brothers did to Joseph was wrong, without a doubt. They envied him and would have killed him if Reuben had not intervened. As it is he suffered slavery and prison when they in turn faked his death to convince his father that he was dead. Joseph suffered for 13 years (Gen 37:2; 41:46). Somehow, when the ordeal was done and 22 years had passed (13 plus 7 years of plenty and 2 years of famine, Gen 45:6), Joseph had a perspective on this that was very unusual. He said, “God sent me“, Gen 45:7.
When we go through wrong things we want the right view. Let’s look at the various views when someone does you wrong. There is the:
Personal view – Gen 40:14-15. Joseph said, basically, I have no business being here; I’ve done nothing wrong. Assuredly, he was innocent, but not totally without need to be there. If nothing else, the Lord used the time to humble him and prepare him for being the second ruler in Egypt. His dreams had puffed him up a little too much, perhaps. The only one who has ever been totally innocent is the Lord. Certainly, when we go through trouble at the hand of others, all we can see is their fault, not ours.
Joseph needed to adjust his attitude. He needed to learn to serve. He had to learn faithfulness to prepare for leadership. And he had to pass the test of purity. He had to learn the proper response to false accusations. And he had to learn to wait on God’s timing. He eventually learned compassion and he learned that God is in charge.
Perpetrators’ view – Gen 50:20. Joseph’s brothers meant to kill him. They wanted to be rid of him and to hurt him if they couldn’t destroy him. When people do you wrong, they often mean to hurt you. At the least, they are not concerned about your feelings. They are only concerned about themselves. It’s not reality to ease the pain they caused you by excusing their behavior. What they did was wrong.
Parental view – Gen 42:36. Jacob was going through his own ordeal as a result of what the brothers had done. He figured that the Lord was letting him reap what he had sown. Often, we need to remember that when someone hurts us there are others who suffer with us. We may want them to have pity on us, but truly, they are going through their own trial. Sometimes, they might may want to minister to us, but we are so bitter they dare not.
Providential view – Gen 45:1-9. God did send Joseph to Egypt. It was always God‘s plan. Gen 50:20 shows us that God meant what happened to Joseph unto good. This horrible event was good for Joseph and it was good for his brethren. It takes time for you to be able to see the providential view. And it takes trust.
You must trust that God is going to work this thing out in your life according to Romans 8:28. The sooner you trust what God is doing, the easier it is going to be for you to deal with it. For sure, God does not owe you personal vindication by taking vengeance on those that hurt you. He wants you to see that he has a far greater purpose than that in your life.
Prophetic view – Gen 49:22-26. Joseph is the greatest type of Jesus Christ in the Bible. He had to suffer so that the lives of his brethren could be saved. That’s exactly what Jesus Christ did for us. And he suffered at the hands of his own friends and brethren. Likewise, you will suffer (1 Peter 4:12-19). This is part of God‘s prophetic plan for you to become just like Jesus Christ. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The prophetic view, therefore, helps you to keep from being surprised when you suffer a fiery trial at the hands of your brothers or sisters in Christ.
Conclusion: when you get the providential view and the prophetic view, you will have the right view of wrong things that happen in your life. Amazingly, Joseph’s brothers, who didn’t want him around anymore, were sure glad to have him around when he got to Egypt. Because he was in Egypt, they ended up in the very best land in the entire country.
And old Jacob, who thought all this has been done against him, found out that it was all for him and his family. In time, you will see that even some of the people who have hurt you are going to be glad that you are still around to help them down the road. So, be sure to have the right view of wrong things.