Joseph’s first test in his character building, from his dream to destiny journey, was the pride test. He learned the root of pride, insecurity, and the result of insecurity – comparison, which led to superiority or inferiority.
He found out that God does not approve of either. Lesson learned – that it wasn’t all about Joseph’s dream and destiny. He was only a part of God’s overall purpose. Now, what was still missing in this lesson? The same element may be missing in your life. Joseph understood that he was boastful and that he was comparing and even understood that it was wrong and genuinely desired not to do it. So, what? He didn’t have the capacity to change in and of himself, even though he knew he needed to and wanted to. Hence, the pit test!
Joseph was sent to Shechem, a place that held significance historically, geographically, and spiritually – “a place of change.” God knew it was time for Joseph to learn what Abram, Jacob, Joshua, the woman at the well, and so many others had learned at Shechem.
The pit is the impossible situation, where the harder you try, the worse it gets no matter what YOU try to do.
Now, from the first phase of the pride test, Joseph learned that it was only by God’s hand that he was the favored son and that he would eventually lead his people to overcome famine and despair.
As he sat in the bottom of the pit, that hopeless and impossible situation – he found himself in the place that is no better described in the Bible than in Romans 7:24. “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He had come to his end, he had humbled himself and realized that he had to die to trying to do it in himself. The moment that he did, his brother Judah decided to sell him instead of leaving him to die and he said to his brothers “Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.’ So, the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold him.’”
Our end is God’s beginning! At the time when Romans 7 was written by the Apostle Paul, a murderer was punished in a terrible and unbelievable way. The dead body of the one murdered was tied to the living body of the murderer. Head to head, hand to hand, foot to foot – the living one was bound to the dead one till death. The murderer could go wherever he pleased, but wherever he went he had to drag the corpse of that murdered man with him. This is what Paul was using as an illustration. It is though he were bound to a dead body – his own body of death – and unable to get free.
At last he can bear it no longer and cries, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?” And then in the flash of an illumination his cry of despair changes to a song of praise. He has found the answer to his question. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:25
He has done everything on the cross for our forgiveness, and he will do everything in us for our deliverance. In both cases HE is the doer. “It is God that worketh in you.” God wants to do all the work for He must have all the glory! If we did some of it, then we would claim some of the glory ourselves. God must have it all! He does all the work from beginning to end.
“For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 AMEN!