The Joseph Stories: Pride and Providence


This series takes a creative approach to the Joseph stories. Each day’s reflection imagines what one of the characters might have written in both their diary and their memoirs about the events in that day’s Scripture passage. While this approach sometimes requires us to “fill in the blanks” a bit with regard to what the characters are thinking and feeling, every effort has been made to stay as close to the Bible’s details as possible. The diary/memoir approach underscores how we often perceive—or don’t perceive—God’s hand in our lives.


Pride and Providence

Read: Genesis 37:1-24

Come now, let us kill him…and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

(v. 20 NRSV)

If Joseph had written in his diary as he was being carted off to Egypt, what might he have said? DIARY: Was it my fault Dad always liked me best? Was it my fault he gave me that cool robe? Was it my fault God sent me those awesome dreams? There I was, minding my own business—and following Dad’s orders to go check on my annoying brothers—and what did they do? They stripped off my beautiful robe and threw me in a pit! I thought they were just messing with me, but the next thing I knew I was on my way to Egypt as a slave! I knew my brothers disliked me, but who knew they’d stoop to this?

If Joseph had written in his memoirs years after this experience, what might he have said? MEMOIR: In retrospect, I guess I was kind of a brat. I probably shouldn’t have told my brothers about the dreams. And while the robe Dad gave me was beautiful, I can understand why my brothers resented it. It still stings that they hated me so much that they went to such lengths to get rid of me. But looking back on it, I can see God using their hatred and my arrogance to prepare the way for our salvation. I’m not glad it happened—but I am glad God is so good at turning lemons into lemonade.

Prayer: Help us to trust your providence, God, even when we are in the midst of excruciating situations.