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Life Lessons from Joseph (Part I of XII)

I believe the power in the Holy Bible is most effective when the reader connects what he is Biblically reading to the life he is living. Faith can find its beginnings, or its enhancement, in such circumstances. When the Bible “speaks” personally and individually to the reader, all kinds of spiritual possibilities become possible. As long as God seems far away and impersonal, lives will be lived selfishly in the fast lane of life. But let God become real and relevant, then lives change radically in the style and manner in which they are lived. And one story in the Bible that is full of life -- application lessons which still apply and connect to today’s living is the magnificent story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. With the inspiration of God, Moses wrote the book of Genesis between 1440-1400 B.C. It appears that most Biblical commentators believe Joseph lived 1915-1805 B.C. The father of Joseph was Jacob. Through a series of events and circumstances, Jacob had four wives that we know of but he actually only loved one — Rachel. With Rachel, Jacob had two of his 12 sons that would become the 12 tribes of Israel — Joseph and Benjamin. Because of Jacob’s special love for Rachel and the fact that Joseph was Rachel’s first born when Jacob was an old man, Jacob loved Joseph more than his other children, putting more pressure than need be on this “blended family.” Genesis 37:1-4, Jacob lived in the land of where his father (Isaac) had stayed, the land of Canaan. This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilphah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. According to writer Kevin Leman in his book Living in a Stepfamily Without Getting Stepped On, one out of three Americans is now a stepparent, a stepchild, a stepsibling, or some other member of a stepfamily. In addition, more than half of all Americans today have been, are now,

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