Summer is a great season for reading. I recently read Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way by Voddie Baucham, Jr. The story of Joseph from Genesis 37-50 is one of my favorite biblical accounts, so I was excited to read this new book. I discovered rich lessons from a story I had considered familiar.
Here are my top takeaways:
1. Unity of the Bible- The gospel is woven throughout the entire Bible- both the Old and New Testaments. Joseph’s narrative is not a mere character study, but his life is one link in God’s story of redemption. I was reminded to view the Bible as a cohesive unit and connect Old and New Testament passages.
2. Election- God chooses people based on his grace alone. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah demonstrate that God defies “natural order” in calling his people. Birth order was not the deciding factor in the covenant blessing. This is relevant in my life because nothing I have done has earned me the right to be a daughter of God.
3. Credit to God- God alone can be credited with keeping Joseph from becoming filled with bitterness and hatred. I am reminded that any fruit or Spirit-produced behavior I demonstrate is because of God alone.
4. Eternal Perspective- As the author phrased it, “No matter how good things get in this world, it’s all Egypt” (p. 84). Christians are to live with minds and hearts on eternity, knowing that the world’s “riches” are temporary.
5. God’s Providence- Everything we experience is purposeful. God is actively involved in the affairs of his people whether they are in a pit, prison, leadership position, or famine. This is a difficult principle to cling to in the midst of trials, but Joseph’s story illustrates this important attribute of God.
6. Forgiveness- Joseph chose not to be defined by the difficulties of his past. From a human perspective, Joseph had reasons to seek revenge on his brothers and succumb to bitterness. I like this perspective: “Forgiveness does not mean one forgets the offense, but in spite of that memory, one erases the debt” (p. 155).
7. No Retirement- Sometimes we think that Christianity gets easier over time. The journey of Jacob, Joseph’s father, illustrates that we never get to an age where we no longer have to trust God.
I would love to discuss Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors with you if you read it. At 158 pages, it is not intimidating. I plan to read Genesis 37-50 with fresh eyes as my next summer reading endeavor!
Guest Blogger: Allison Bies