The stories of Jacob and Joseph amaze me. Both men find God in the craziest of circumstances. Jacob runs from his brother who is breathing threats and wanting to kill him. Jacob runs into God and is completely changed by the experience. Joseph finds his encounter with God and then should have run from his brothers.
What lessons can we learn from Joseph and Jacob about being God’s superheroes?
First we learn that God speaks to individuals as well as nations. He regards the individual as much as he regards the nation. The individual can be the catalyst for change in the future of a family, city, or even a nation. God moves the individual to change the world. The world is fundamentally altered by individuals armed with God’s strength and grace.
Second, God’s moving can be anything but we need to recognize that it is definitely painful. Jacob was leaving everything he knew. He was fearing for his life and God was changing his character so that a nation could be born. It wasn’t in a nice pleasant path that Jacob heard from God. It was in the midst of pain and sorrow with a rock for a pillow that Jacob heard God. Joseph may have been comfortable when he heard God. However, very quickly, Joseph ends up in a prisoner’s pit and not just once.
Third, God speaks in tons of ways. For these two guys, he spoke in dreams. He also spoke through circumstances. How did Jacob and Joseph know it was time to leave where they were? Look at their circumstances. We have the added and most important filter of the written word (logos) and the spoken word (rhema) as well as the physical word in Jesus (John 1:1). We have Christ in us (Col. 1) and we should not expect him to be silent. If you listen, you can hear. If you will quiet yourself, he will speak.