The Joseph narrative is weird. This is the conclusion we came to in Life Group last night. And it is a good conclusion. We ought to, at this point, be tired of assuming that everything in scripture is cut and dry, black and white, pretty and perfect, etc, etc.
The fact of the matter is, that this story is weird and we ought to avoid the temptation of jumping to conclusions. Some of us in group last night, saw Joseph as a shrewd business man. Some of us saw him as a compassionate giver and provider for the poor and marginalized. Some of us saw him as naive when he was young. Some of us saw him as arrogant and full of himself. But we all saw that the story itself was messy, odd, peculiar. Furthermore, we all agreed that this makes application very difficult.
Finally, we came to this conclusion that it is not all together appropriate for the disciple of Christ to be obsessed with “My” purpose. Not that there is anything wrong with asking God “What do you want from me?” – so long as we recognize that he wants us to participate in something bigger than ourselves. Joseph was simply living in a larger promise. God had promised to bless all people through his family. I get the feeling He was simply just trying to be a blessing to everyone he came in contact with – even those that imprisoned him.
“Our” purpose is to fit into God’s plans for redeeming the world. Feed the poor, bless the children, regard the aged, care for creation, visit the sick and imprisoned, clothe the naked, be a peacemaker, be gentle, be humble, be nonviolent, love others, love God… in other words, be a part of the Blessing of the world by God.