Joseph, the Believer - Genesis 50

Joseph, the Believer

Genesis 50:1-26

In Psalm 105:16-22 we find a brief biographical sketch of Joseph: "He (God) sent a man before them---Joseph---who was sold as a slave.  They hurt his feet with fetters.  He was laid in irons, until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.  The king sent and released him.  The ruler of the people let him go free.  He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure, and teach his elders wisdom."  The greatness of Joseph is not found exclusively in his secular achievements, ruling over all the land of Egypt, but rather in his faith in God.

First and foremost, Joseph believed in the providence of God.  He did not believe in bad luck or happenstance.  God had a wonderful plan for his life.  Every hardship and difficulty that he encountered had a divine purpose.  In Genesis 50:20 Joseph said to his wicked brothers, "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many people alive."  God had brought Joseph into his position of power to save others from starvation.  Here we have a display of God working all things together for good.  Romans 8:28.

Joseph believed in the rightful place of God as the One in the place of ultimate power and authority.  Joseph asked his brothers, "Am I in the place of God?"  Genesis 50:19.  He realized that the Lord was God.  In his personal interview before Pharoah in Genesis 41, he never mentioned himself.  Instead, he gave all the glory to the Lord.  Compare the faith of father Abraham.  Romans 5:20, 21.

Joseph also believed in forgiveness.  He not only forgave his lying brothers, he provided for them and their families.  Genesis 50:21.  And what about Potiphar's wife, and Pharoah's butler who for two years forgot all about him?  Joseph, the believer, was not mean-spirited, but rather kind and comforting.

Even though Joseph spent his adult life in the land of Egypt, he believed in the promises of God to the Hebrew fathers.  On his death bed he said to his brothers, "God will surely bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."  Genesis 50:24.  He did not entertain any doubts about the children of Israel returning to the land of Canaan, the promised land.  He also believed that his bones would be carried back to the land of his birth.  In Hebrews 11:6 we read, "By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones."

God gives meaning to our lives.  He is at work in every situation.  We can trust Him.


Lord, we do trust You.  You are interested in the fine details as well as the big picture.  Keep us from discouragement, when situations arise that do not appear to be favorable to us.  Thank You for the display of Your providence in this biblical account of the life of Joseph.  May we take it to heart.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
All rights reserved.

Navigation Tips

Since visitors use different browsers and monitors, and have different preferences in how they navigate through a website, we've provided multiple ways to progress through the studies on

1) For those who find drop-down, slide-out menus convenient, just hover over the category (menu link on the top bar) and sub-category (menu link in the drop down list).  If there is an arrow to the right of the item, the articles in that category will slide out.  (If there is no arrow, just click on the item.)  Click on any article to read it.  If you have a "wheel mouse," you should be able to roll it toward you to see more of the drop-down menu.

2) If you are unable to see all the drop-down or slide-out items (or just prefer a different way of navigating), click on the category (menu link on the top bar), then on any sub-category in the list that appears.  You will see a list of articles to choose from OR use our Site Map.

3) Most studies are part of a series (category or sub-category).  Each article within the category has a link to the next article so you can progress easily to the next study.

4) At the top of the page, you will also notice "Breadcrumbs" that show which category and sub-category you are in.  You may click on those links to return to the "parent" category or sub-category list.

5) ANSWERS to Review Questions and Quizzes are found in links at the end of the Review Questions or Quiz.  They may also be accessed by clicking on the category (which will show a list of all articles in the category).  The link at the end of the article will cause a pop up window to appear so you may easily refer to other pages on the site; the link in the Category list will open a normal page.

If you're looking for a particular topic, word, or phrase, try the Search feature in the right column.

Close this box by clicking on the top (dark brown) part again.