每日诗歌: 如鹰展翅上腾（如鹰展翅上腾 Soar on Wings Like an Eagle）
约瑟的故事就是这样。从创37:2我们了解到在他17岁时才开始纪录，从创41:46，我们得知他30岁时开始在埃及统治。除了创 41:1节，这之间的一切都是模糊的。要真正欣赏这个年轻人，我们需要尝试勾画出一个时间表，并提出一些问题。约瑟被拉出沟卖给了最终把他带到埃及的以实玛利人（创37:25），但这“最终”是多久呢？那个沟是靠近Dothan的地方（创37:17），距离埃及几百英里。 随着商队速度，这可能意味着他作为一个奴隶旅行几个月的时间。我不敢想像在那段时间里约瑟的居住环境，但圣经只是说：“他被带下埃及”（创39:1）
创41:51节让我很感动，“神使我忘了我所有的痛苦”。我鼓励你把自己放在约瑟的位置上，想想我列在上面的时间表。这是一个十三年的跨度，一个年轻人十三年的黄金岁月，却充满了极大的痛苦，奴隶之苦，地牢之苦。并且接二连三的被别人背弃，但神从来没有背弃他。把他的痛苦和我们现在所有的任何“痛苦” 比较一下，希望这能减轻你的重担，并使你今天高兴一点。的确，我们的神帮助我们“玛拿西” 痛苦。
Genesis 41 [Read]
Matthew 13:1-32 [Read]
One thing we often miss when we read the Bible is timeline. Biblical writers showed little interest in recording the exact time of certain events, and they often brushed across the timeline using phrases like "some time later", "after a long time", etc. As a result, we could easily forget that important element.
Such is the case in Joseph's story. From Gen 37:2 we learn that he was 17 when the record started, and from Gen 41:46 we learn that he was 30 when he began reigning over Egypt. Everything in between was vague except 41:1. To truly appreciate this young man, we need to try to construct the timeline and ask some questions. Joseph was lifted out of the ditch and sold to the Ishmaelites (Gen 37:25) who eventually brought him to Egypt. But how long was that "eventually" I just said? The ditch was close to Dothan (Gen 37:17), which was a few hundred miles from Egypt. With the speed of a Caravan, that could mean months of traveling time as a slave. I can't start to imagine the living environment during those time for Joseph, but Bible simply said "he had been taken down to Egypt" (Gen 39:1).
We don't know how long he stayed as a slave for Potiphar before being promoted as the house keeper, but it could not be too quickly. On the other hand, it probably did not take too long for Potiphar's wife to cook up her evil scheme and caused Joseph to be put into prison. Judging from the anger of Potiphar, that prison stay (maybe more appropriate to call it a dungeon) would not have been pleasant. Just when Joseph thought he had a chance to get out by interpreting the dream for the cupbearer, he simply forgot about Joseph for two years. We just talked about bitterness yesterday, would we be able to not become bitter under the circumstances? What's his secret?
I was moved by Gen 41:51 "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble". I encourage you to put yourself in Joseph's shoes and think about the timeline I laid out above. It's a long span of 13 years, 13 golden years of a young man, which was filled with serious trouble, slavery trouble, dungeon trouble. One after another, people failed him. But God never failed him. Compare that with whatever we have right now as "trouble". Hopefully, that will lighten your burden and brighten your day a bit. Our God indeed helps us to "Manasseh" trouble.
Keep on reading,