Faith Impressions Gel Press

Devotionals

Joseph: The putdown, the pit, the prison, the purpose

If you know me in real life, you know that I am a total music theater nerd, and I am raising 2/3 of my kids to joyfully belt out everything from “Phantom of the Opera” to “Defying Gravity” to “Waving Through a Window” to “Memories.” {I don’t know what’s wrong with my oldest…the only musical he can stand is “Hamilton!}

But… there is one musical I’ve heard about for years, but have never actually listened to: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (great name, right?)

Written over the course of a decade by the master duo of show tunes, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, this show puts a music theater spin on the Biblical Story of Joseph, from Genesis 37-50.

It got me thinking…why is this story SO powerful that even someone who doesn’t see themselves as a “religious” person would think it worthy of being told in musical form for the last 50 years?

I think it is because it’s a story that we all can relate to.

It’s a story of jealousy, loss, and eventual victory.

I think we can relate right?

The Putdown

From the very beginning of his life, Joseph was segregated from him brothers.

He was the first child by Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel.

In the beginning of chapter 37, you see that although he was of age to be in the field, he was at home while his brothers tended the sheep.

His name literally translates “the righteous one.”

He was given a special garment (the coat of many colors), which scholars say was a bestowing of favor upon him.

All these things (and probably more that aren’t documented) planted seeds of jealousy and envy between himself and his siblings.

So much so that when Joseph makes the mistake of telling his family about the two dreams he had, it pushed his older brothers over the edge.

In 37:8 we read that: Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

They not only mocked him over the idea that he thought he could rule/reign over them, but scriptures go as far as to tell us that they “hated him.”

They putdown the dream that God had given him.

Why?

It was not their dream. It was a dream between Joseph and God.

Not everyone will understand what God has called you to do, but that does not mean you should stop reaching for it.

The Pit

 When Joseph was thrown into the pit and stripped of his coat of many colors (ie… his favor) it was the beginning of a tragic and hard time in his life, but let’s take a closer look at the pit.

Both verses 22 & 24 say that they “threw” him into the pit. That tells us that it was wide enough and deep enough that he could be thrown and still not reach the other side. But… he managed to survive the impact.

Verse 24 further tells us “the pit was empty, without any water in it.” Moses, the writer of Genesis, added this little piece of info to, once again, reinforce the idea that he COULD have died in the pit had it been full of water.

In the Bible, a “pit” is symbolic of the entrance to hell and death, but despite the circumstance that could have ended Joseph’s story in chapter 37, he survived.

Why?

Because the pit was not the end of his story… no matter how difficult it was.

The Prison

When I read the story of the Joseph and I get to chapter 39, I can only imagine how happy Joseph would have been.

Having been sold into slavery at age 17, he spent 3 years as the main man in Potiphar’s house.

Can you imagine the relief of not only NOT being a traditional slave, but having access to all the privilege that came along with his station?

And… to top it off… he did not have to deal with the jealousy, envy and anger from his brothers that he had lived with literally his entire life.

He could live to his full God-given potential for the first time in his 20 years on earth.

That is… until Potiphar’s wife ruined it all.

With her lie about being attacked, she ruined everything he had managed to build and once again he was thrown into a pit and stripped of everything.

Chapter 39 repeats the phrase “he left his garment” 5 times (vs 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18.) As we have already learned, his original coat was a sign of favor. And in Chapter 39 he was once again stripped of his favor.

The difference this time is found in verse 12. Verse 12 says: So she grabbed him by his garment, saying, “Sleep with me!” But he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. {bold added}

Joseph chose to be stripped of his favor rather than insult his God and sleep with the wife of his boss.

Why?

Because your relationship with God is more important than what anyone on this earth could do for us.

The Purpose

10 years.

That is how long Joseph was falsely imprisoned.

And even though he once again found favor with those in charge and was given responsibility, he still was a prisoner himself.

He did not have the freedom allotted those not imprisoned. He could not go home and tell his father he was still alive. He could not exact revenge on his brothers (if he wanted to.) He could not marry and start a family.

As hard as this might have been, though, it positioned him to be where he needed to be. Had he not been there, he would have never interpreted the dreams of the baker and butler 9 years into his imprisonment or go on to interpret Pharaoh’s dream 2 years later.

Joseph was destined to be the savior of Egypt and lead them through one of the most devastating famines in history. A famine that included his own family.

But first he had to be lower than who Pharaoh usually leaned on to interpret dreams.

Why?

Joseph needed to be in a place of humility to “shock” Pharaoh by his correct interpretation of his dream.

No other usual adviser was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, but Joseph was and that was how Pharaoh knew that God had truly sent someone special into his life.

Joseph’s prison paved the way to his purpose.

What does all this mean for you?

What can we take away from Joseph’s life?

1) Some dreams are just between you and God. Not everyone will understand, and they are not meant to. Be careful who you share your dreams with and do not allow others to put them down.

2) The pit does not have to be the end of your story. Even though it might feel like you are walking through the very gates of hell, God is protecting you from things you cannot even see, just as God protected Joseph.

3) Favor will always come and go from people here on earth, but we decide whether or not we choose to walk away from favor here on earth in exchange for favor with God.

4) Sometimes what we see as a prison, is often path to our purpose. That difficult situation could be your opening to minister. That tragedy could be the words you write that brings someone else through the same storm. But if we are always running away from the hard stuff, we will never know how much God can use the hard stuff in your purpose.

Journaling Questions:

1) What part of Joseph’s life do I most identify with: the putdown, the pit, the prison or the purpose?

2) What can I do to move forward if I feel stuck?

3) How can I use the putdown/pit/prison toward my purpose?

Prayer

Dear God:

Thank you that we do not have to stay in the putdown, the pit or the prison. That you have called us to a purpose and can use anything for your good.

Thank you that you are always with me even when I might not see or understand.

I ask for patience as I wait. I ask for wisdom as I seek truth. I ask for people to come in my path to lift me up and remember me, just as the cupbearer remembered Joseph.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

Project

Supplies:

Gel Press Petites Set A & B

Faith Impressions by Keri Sallee for Gel Press

Gel Press Economy Brayer

Journaling Bible or Art Journal

Acrylic Paints

Ranger Ink Archival Ink Pad in Jet Black

Stencils

Various Stamps and texture items

Dylusions Paint Pens (white and black)

Letter Stickers

 

Steps:

Start by gathering your supplies

To protect your words and allow for a sharp edge to your print, use scrap paper and a little bit of tape to cover part of your page. This, of course, is not necessary but it is handy.

To create our layers of color, we will be doing the same repeating steps to fill the space on our page.

Start by selecting a Gel Press Petite shape and what color paint you want to start with.

To add more interest, use a texture plate (like this silicone potholder!) to stamp some Archival Ink onto your plate before adding your paint.

Using your brayer, add a layer of paint across your plate.

TIP: For petite and demi plates, keep one side of your mylar sheets on to use as a “handle” or use an acrylic stamping block.

As always, keep a separate sheet to clean your brayer off between colors.

Now the fun starts!

Take your Petite Gel Press plate and “stamp” your prints onto your space. Allow your plate to hand over the edge and then readjust your plate to make use of any leftover paint.

Keep repeating this process until you have filled in your space.

Here is some inspiration!

USE a stamp to add texture:

Keep some shapes solid without texture or stamping to give your project deep sections.

Use scraps of paper to block off areas if you are using larger plates, like the Faith Impressions Border plates.

The possibilities for colors and textures on endless!!

DETAILS!!

Details can be added using any stamps, stencils and textures you have on hand.

Since they are already available, I like using my Petite plates as mini “palettes” for my make up sponges and stamps.

Paint pens make it easy to add small details like dots and lines.

TIP: If you don’t have the color of letter stickers that you need, use these steps to alter them to the color you need!

Use a black sharpie or paint pen to add a drop shadow around your letters.

 

Thank you for joining me today!!

Be sure to join us in the Gel Press Faith Impressions Group for more Gel Press inspirational fun!

XoXo,
KERI

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