The story of Joseph shows us what hope looks like in this world. Seventeen-year-old Joseph’s life is shattered when he is betrayed by his nearest and dearest. This betrayal tears apart Jacob’s family. Repeatedly, family members misperceive situations and make wrong choices. Yet through it all, God is present. The Lord, majestically described in the opening verses of the Bible as the creator of the world, shows in the concluding chapters of Genesis his loving concern for the vulnerable Joseph and the family that betrayed him. God is in charge and he cares. Through God’s presence, what appears to be a hopeless situation is transformed to a new situation where all are given what is necessary to live abundantly. Although the radical nature of God’s lovingkindness is not completely understood or acknowledged, God continues to move forward with his plan.
Using concepts from the common law, the author shows the organizational structure of this remarkable story and sets out the writer’s argument concerning God’s relationship with humanity. Understanding the story of Joseph, the reader gets pointed in the right direction for further exploration of Holy Scripture.