'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

Archive for wisdom

Joseph…quite a guy!

So…. this is a series of short blog posts about Joseph, the favourite of Jacob’s sons.  The difference with this series is that it is a ‘transatlantic-tag’ effort between me and my good buddy Jon Lyndon!  I’ve no idea what he’s going to say, but he’s doing Part 2, me part 3 and so on……….should be fun!


We know that the life of Joseph shows us certain things: primarily how suffering, no matter how (seemingly) unfair, develops strong character and deep wisdom.  He ultimately wins through, forgiving his brothers and feeding a nation.   Remind you of someone?  Yep, he is a type of Christ.  And we will use this Christocentric approach in each of our posts, showing how the gospel runs through the story, and how we apply it to our lives.

Part 1 (Gen 39-40)

It was no big deal to get a ‘tunic’ from your old man (all of Joe’s bro’s would have had one).  Normally they’d be used for carrying stuff, wrapping up babies, even using as security for a loan, but they were generally plain and boring.  But the one Joe got was the type usually worn by royalty!  Multicoloured, ankle-length and certainly not off the peg!

His Great Grandpa was Abraham, and we’re told ‘God blessed him amongst his brothers’.   To his brothers, He was one of those really annoying guys who appear to have it all!  Dads favour, the flash jacket, the good looks!

To cap it all, he had quite an attitude.  He knew he was the man!  He even had a couple dreams about his family bowing down to him, and this sent his brothers over the edge.  As things came to a head, they plotted against him, slung him in a pit and sold him into slavery, which took him to Egypt……but God was with him.  Can you imagine?  A country boy into big city, surrounded by lots of false religion, and Pharaoh thinking he’s god?

It’s here that he comes face to face with Mrs Potiphar.  She is brazen in her attempts to seduce Joseph.  It’s a picture, like the world seducing mankind, making us drunk on immorality, appealing to our senses.  She is suggestive to him, persistent and offering great promise……‘Lets delight ourselves with caresses’.   We live in a seductive world, it flatters, it bares a leg, it winks!

How does Joseph do?  He does well, resisting temptation at every corner.  He repeatedly turns down her advances with increasing clarity, making it plain that he serves God and Potiphar.  He says, ‘Potiphar trusts me with everything, and all is under my control except you, because you are his wife!’  (she is the forbidden fruit and he had to walk past the forbidden fruit everyday).

Both (culture & woman) tried to entice him, but he stayed true to the God he trusted and feared.  Joseph was a human being, so I can assure you he would have succumbed to some temptation in his life, but in this story we see a picture of pure triumph over it, a success story. 

What Jesus correlations can we make?  Just look at these incredible threads :

~ Joseph was sold by his bro’s for the going price of a slave / Jesus was sold for the going price of a slave (+ inflation)

~ Joseph fled when hounded by Mrs Potiphar / Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness and resisted

~ Joseph refused to abuse the power Potiphar had given him by resisting his wife / Jesus also refused to abuse the power God had given him by not ‘getting into bed’ with Satan

~ Joseph was unjustly accused and thrown into prison / Jesus suffered the same injustice and was murdered as a criminal

For Part 2 of this series, click here


Things Mum taught me…

Yes, you’re right, I’ve timed this post to coincide with Mothering Sunday where we all get slushy about our Mum’s, and some of us even buy them tat at extortionate prices (perhaps to relieve our consciences?).

These days you cant even raid the garden for daffs because of the genuine winter we’ve had which has kept them wisely hidden away!  Are the daffs and retailers involved in some kind of conspiracy against us Sons and Daughters??

Anyway, I’m not going to get into that debate (how consumerism consumes us), but I did want to rattle off some aspects of notable worth for which my Mum needs hearty thanks. It’s by no means exhaustive, and probably quite random, but personal to me nonetheless.

Mum, circa 1970

My Mum taught me :

~ to butter toast effectively, making sure the crust edges are covered meaning they are more likely to be eaten along with the rest

~ that the wooden spoon was to be feared above all things!  Just the rattle of the drawer where it was kept was enough to get me repenting at pace!

~ to consider the needs of others before my own (still working on that one)

~ that hospitality is not just a choice but a lifestyle

~ that the (irrational) fear of man is part of the experience of growing up, but the (healthy) fear of God is how wisdom gets developed

~ to prize integrity which brings favour from God and man

~ not to be a consumer, but a fruit-bearing cultivator / producer

~ that Jesus is alive!

~ that scripture is like a plumbline that we hold up against the stuff of life. (‘Dont let this book of the law depart from your lips…. Joshua 1’)

Mum, circa 2010

There’s loads more……….thanks Mum!