Well, everything begins changing for Joseph at this point. He has been a slave in his master’s house. Then he was put into prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he remained faithful and did an amazing job while being a prisoner. He worked for the chief of the prison and helped out those who were placed there. Even then he was ignored and forgotten. It has been two years since he helped out the chief cup-bearer and chief baker through their dream interpretations. Now everything changes rather quickly.
Pharaoh has a pair of bad dreams, and no one can tell him what they mean. Finally the cup-bearer comes forward and says, “there was this young Hebrew man who told me my dream.” So Pharaoh sends for him and Joseph tells him that the interpretations come from the God who gave him the dreams, so tell them to Joseph and he will see what he can tell him. All that hard work and faithfulness pays off, God answers, and Joseph is about to have a life change.
How long are we willing to wait for God? Do we get frustrated and just give up when things just don’t go our way? Do we feel abandoned when instead of blessing us, it seems like God just puts us through more and more trials? Do we feel like it doesn’t really matter whether we do the right thing or not because either way we are getting screwed? Just because it takes time for the seed to grow, sprout, bud, flower, and come to fruition doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan for us. It just means, that His timing is much different from ours.
The fruition of his faithfulness, hard work, and honesty in the face of great trials leads him to this very moment and time… and what happens in the second half of this chapter; tomorrow.
This chapter is the beginning of the fruition of of who Jacob has become and is becoming. It is Jacob in the process of not only seeing the fruit of deception, but becoming the target and recipient of it. He must learn to accept the consequences and purposes that are out of his control. He must also work hard to achieve what his father had been freely given. This is the time when Jacob has to make a choice, do i rise to the challenge and be a man, or do i try to force my will on another person requiring that they give me what i feel like (and rightfully do) deserve, acting like a spoiled child?
This is a struggle that every person must face, especially every man. Jacob is trying to prove himself. He is trying to work and overcome. In this and the following chapters he is trying to be a man. He is answering the questions: Who am i? What gives me value? Where is my purpose? Like most every man, he is seeking to understand his role and his purpose. As such, he is wrestling with expectations placed on himself, and what he can and does achieve.
Leah is going through the same struggle in this chapter. She sees her value coming from her relationship with other people. So she wrestles with that. The fact that she is given to this man who does not love her in trickery. The fact that even in her role within that marriage she still cannot find true acceptance. She does what every woman of her world does, she pursues childbearing as a large part of who she is. She even succeeds in having son after son, but she still does not gain the acceptance and approval that she seeks. Finally, after wrestling and wrestling and wrestling, she finally finds her love and acceptance in God. She recognizes that He is her source of love and acceptance. As a result, her final son she names Judah, meaning “praise”. Praise to the LORD for His blessing and love.
How do we respond in the face of struggle and trial? Do we face it like a man (woman), or do we throw a fit and attempt to make everyone else bow to our will through force, control, or manipulation? Understand as Leah did, that our love and value can only come from one source. If we wrestle with and seek fulfillment of those desires through anything else, we will eventually be let down. It will never be enough. It is only by wrestling and finding our love and purpose in the LORD, in YHWH that we can finally praise.
A Masterpiece in Progress