Joseph’s story found in the book Genesis is one of my Old Testament favs!! Joseph was adored by his father Jacob, but he despised by older brothers! However, after being hated by his older brothers, thrown in pit, and later sold into slavery, Joseph was able to forgive his jealous and conniving brothers, recognizing that God’s sovereign goodness overrides all. In the end, Joseph told his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
If you’re familiar with the beginning of the story then you know Joseph’s stumbling blocks were huge! His was thrown in a pit left to die, but his trifling brothers pulled him out only to sell him to human traffickers who later sold him to Potiphar (Gen 37:36).
Despite all of that drama, God blessed Joseph, and he grew in influence and prominence, until Potiphar put Joseph over his whole house (Genesis 39:8). Then here comes another rolling stumbling block! Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph (who fled to avoid the situation), and then she lied to Potiphar, accusing Joseph of trying to take her by force (Genesis 39:17–18). Talk about betrayal after betrayal!
How did Joseph respond? He was human and he could have easily and justifiably played the victim card, but he didn’t! Joseph chose to use every stumbling block that came his way as stepping stones to accomplish God’s will, plan and purpose. He didn’t allow those heinous setbacks to determine his outcome in life. According to Genesis 41:9-13, the Bible says even while he was locked-up, Joseph prospered and God gave him the gift of dream interpretation. Essentially, despite his circumstances Joseph used every gift he possessed to bring God glory and as result of his relentless obedience it greatly change the trajectory of his life, including the lives of those that betrayed him.
This historical narrative teaches us that God is with us no matter the size of the stumbling block(s) and understanding God’s big picture plan for our lives will always enable us to use stumbling block(s) which are sent to hurt us as stepping stones that will always propel us to Godly victory!