A process of maturity
I’VE heard before that the story of Joseph, the Dreamer was the best story in the Old Testament. After reading it, I saw the reason behind this verdict.
Joseph was the son of Jacob, or Israel. He was seventeen then, a spoiled brat who often squealed against his brothers.
Joseph had the gift of divining the future through dreams. He once had two dreams, both he interpreted in a way that said his father, mother and all his siblings would kneel before him. He did not think twice of bragging about this.
His brothers hated him for it. One time he went out to look for his brothers (I am sure you have heard of this story), who were watching over the flock of animals in a far-away place, wearing the flamboyant robe his father made for him.
His jealous brothers decided to kill him. At the last minute, however, they decided to put him in a waterless cistern in the isolated desert. When nomadic merchants passed by, the brothers decided to sell him for 20 shekels.
It was the beginning of Joseph’s roller-coaster fortunes and misfortunes.
The merchants bought Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an official of the Pharaoh. Soon, he was put in charge of Potiphar’s household.
His master’s wife took fancy of him. Joseph rejected her advances. She told her husband, Potiphar, that Joseph tried to rape her and Joseph found himself in prison.
In prison, the warden found Joseph reliable, so he put him in charge, like what Potiphar did. At one time, Pharaoh imprisoned his official cupbearer and baker because of misdeeds. The two had separate dreams in one evening, and Joseph interpreted them correctly.
After several years, the Pharaoh had two disturbing dreams about cows and grains. Pharaoh’s cupbearer told the former of Joseph, who was still in jail.
The Pharaoh summoned Joseph, who the two dreams thus: Egypt would experience seven years of bountiful harvests to be followed by seven years of terrible famine. He advised the Pharaoh to stock up on grains during the years of bounty so they would have something to eat when famine comes.
The Pharaoh was so grateful to Joseph that he put him in charge of this important task. He became the second most powerful man in Egypt!
When the famine was on its third year, Canaan, where Joseph’s father, brothers and other relatives lived, was hit by the catastrophe and decided to go to Egypt to get some grains.
There they kneeled before Joseph, whom they did not recognize at the time, begging for something to eat.
Thus, Joseph’s vision as a 17-year-old boy came to reality. I believe he was then well over 40 years old. It took a while and several changes of fortunes before he could become what he dreamed of in his youth.
He had to learn humility, to be exposed to the miseries of the world and to acquire wisdom along the way. Fort Nicolas