Sunday, 23 June 2013

Joe and the Egyptians

Trials, distress and adversity are common in today world - seems like every where we turn there is some catastrophe happening.

When trials come, and they inevitably will, I wonder how we will react - I know how my best friend reacted.....

David Mackenzie was only 40 years old when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease - This horrible disease often begins with weakness of the muscles in the arms or legs and eventually leads to total and generalised paralysis.

It was my privilege to get to know David and the Mackenzie family - I must admit I was a bit awe stuck when I met David in 2002 - here he was labouring under a death sentence yet trusting in God and actually writing a book.

David's book "Coming to Life" changed my life; He reckoned he wasn't 'going to die' in fact he was 'coming to life'.

The entire book chronicles his journey with MND from diagnosis to leaving a legacy not only for his beautiful wife Jill and children Andrew, Fiona and Scott but also to his future Grandchildren.

It also leaves a legacy to any who happens to read it - including me.

Throughout this amazing book, David asks some pretty straightforward questions and gives some pretty straightforward answers.

As his illness took hold of him more and more and he became more physically weaker, he chose to embrace his life and became a real inspiration to everyone who met him.

He always looked for the blessings in things and we both talked for hours about miracles and amazing advances in technology but basically he knew that the actual miracle was to be found in us!

It was how we coped when the chips were down - who we relied upon when we were in total distress and when the adversity and anguish had all run it's course, who in fact were we trusting?

David's faith in God totally blew me away and not just once. No matter what happens in my life - David's faith will shine like a beacon; a constant reminder of the utter loveliness of our God and how a life of faith can change lives.

David passed away on 16th June, 2007; He left behind an amazing legacy.
He was my mentor; my wise teacher and my very best friend.

So learning from David - I now realise that blessings in fact do occur in our trials and tribulations.

We can always look for miracles when everything goes pear-shaped but the amazing thing I have leaned and so often shared with David was the fact that the very best miracle of all happens in us.

God works miracles every day of the week - which actually brings me to our subject for this blog - "Joe and the Egyptians".

Joseph was the 2nd youngest son of Jacob who had in fact 12 sons and at least one daughter as we read in the Bible.

Joseph though was special; - he was the first-born son of Jacobs favourite wife Rachael. Jake had worked 7 years for Rach and was tricked at the alter by his cunning old Father-In-Law, Laban, who passed off his older daughter Leah in Rachael's place.

Jacob though had a special place in his heart for Joseph because of Rachael and favoured him above all his other sons.

I guess we all the know the story pretty well - how because of jealousy, his brothers sold him into slavery, how Joseph was lusted after by his masters wife, accused wrongly of rape and thrown into prison where he languished for a few years before correctly interpreting Pharaohs dream of 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine.

Daaadaaaa Joseph made Governor of Egypt!!

The 7 years of famine were well under way when the brothers came scrounging for food, not even considering poor old Joe whom they had sold into slavery - he was probably dead anyway!

The brothers had done a great job on Joseph - they had got rid of their problem - Old Dad had finally accepted the truth/lie that some wild beast had eaten him; things settled down; no more dreams being interpreted; no more coats of many colours bandied around by a doting dad and no more jealousy!

They made their way to Egypt; scrounged the food they were after; got accused by the some high falutin Governor of spying, but apart from that they were on their way back to dad with the grain; had to leave old Simeon behind and were made to promise to bring Benjamin back with them next time., but nevertheless they were on their way WOOHOO.

Must have been about 2 years later the food ran out and they were stuck, Jake didn't want them to take Benjamin to Egypt - after all he was the only son left of his and Rachael's line, but the 9 remaining  brothers won out and Ben was soon mounted on his donkey and away!

The brothers has obviously done a great wrong to Joseph years earlier, and when he finally reveals the truth to his brothers in Genesis 45:8 he does not gloss over any details of their offence nor their culpability for it.

Rather, he focuses his mind, and theirs on the key message of this saga of sagas: and that message is GOD IS AT WORK EVEN AMID THE PLANS OF EVIL MEN.

The brothers were responsible for their actions, but Joseph forgave them.

We don't know how he felt in the middle of all his trials and tribulations (I can only guess) but he remained faithful through them.

By the time his troubles came to an end, God had given him wisdom to understand that his slavery, rejection and imprisonment had accomplished the purposes of God for his entire family.

So.... when we suffer hardship, we aren't always privy to Gods amazing purposes, even at the end of our trials.

We may have to show an even greater faith that Joseph had - more like my friend David maybe - BUT in Jesus Christ we have someone greater than Joseph to follow.

So I reckon our trials, distress, anxiety whatever, can come attached to blessings of BIBLICAL proportions - what we have to do is to look for the miracles - accepting the fact that the miracle we are looking for maybe in us!


  1. looks like a good read......good lesson about Joseph too!

  2. Thank you - blessings in your ministry as well


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