Most of us are familiar with the story of Joseph. We know that his brothers will sell him into slavery, where he will be bought by Potiphar, whose wife will falsely accuse him of abuse and have him thrown in jail, where he will interpret the dreams of the king’s cupbearer, only to be forgotten by him. And it all starts when he goes off by himself to meet his brothers in the field.
If this were a movie, there would be people yelling at the screen, “no, Joseph! Don’t go to find your brothers! They’ll kill you!”
We have this reaction because we know the end. But, even without knowing how things will end, Joseph must be suspect of his brothers. We have already been told multiple times that “they hated him,” and they were not able to hide their hate. But, when his father tells him to go, alone, and find his brothers out in the fields, Joseph doesn’t hesitate; he responds with that faithful response, “here I am.”
Please read Genesis 37:12-17.
The fact that Joseph was “wandering in the fields” to find his brothers sets the precedent for what will happen later. His brothers will tell their father that they found Joseph’s coat in the fields and let Jacob assume that an animal must have killed Joseph. This is plausible for a young man wandering alone in the fields, unable to find his brothers, would be easy picking for a fierce animal. The irony of course is that Joseph was in more danger when he was in the company of his brothers!
Joseph is no fool. He likely knows that traveling through multiple towns alone was a dangerous proposition. He probably knows that his brothers have dark thoughts concerning him, and being alone with them in a faraway field will give them opportunity to act on those evil intentions. The risks are great in fulfilling his father’s request. But, when asked, he doesn’t hesitate to respond, “here I am.”
Sometimes God asks us to do some risky things. Sometimes God asks us to put ourselves out there in risky ways, and calls us to sacrifice necessities and go someplace where we don’t know how we will provide for ourselves. From a worldly perspective, the things the Holy Spirit calls us to do seem foolish. But we should always respond to God’s call with the same faithful answer as Joseph, “Here I am.”
We don't know how the story will end; we don't see what God sees. We might say "no" if it means that we will be sold into slavery or thrown in prison, but God knows that the story will end with Joseph gaining such great authority the he will save entire nations from a coming famine.
God has a plan because He has seen the end of our story. We can trust Him completely—even when we don’t know what the plan is! If he calls, we just respond “here I am,” and let Him work out all the details.
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