Why does God give us more details about Joseph’s life than any other individual in Genesis?
Genesis has an interesting structure. It zooms over the creation account like a rocket (about 3% of the book), soars over the millennia between Adam and Abraham like a jet (about 15% — dropping speed and altitude over Noah), and cruises over Abraham (21%), Isaac (8%), and Jacob (23%) like a helicopter, hovering here and there. Then it sort of drives down the road of Joseph’s life, devoting to it nearly 30% of its content.
God is always intentional in his proportionality. More does not necessarily equal more important in God’s word economy. The epistle to the Ephesians is much shorter than the narrative of Joseph’s life, but it is not less important. However, more does imply take note. There are crucial things God wants us to see.
God has many reasons to drive us through Joseph’s life, some more obvious than others. Let’s look at one perhaps lesser obvious reason.
Sightings of Sovereignty in the Life of Joseph
On this drive, if we’re paying attention to the scenery out the windows, we see a startling and unnerving level of God’s providential involvement in the details of Joseph’s life. Here are some of the scenes (warning: some of these scenes you may find disturbing).
This means Rachel’s agonizing struggle with infertility was part of God’s plan (Genesis 30:1–2).
Joseph’s prophetic dreams were (obviously) part of God’s plan (Genesis 37:5–11).
His brothers’ jealously (note: sibling rivalry and family conflict) was part of God’s plan (Genesis 37:8).
Joseph’s extraordinary administrative gifting was part of God’s plan (Genesis 39:2–4).
Joseph’s favor with Potiphar was part of God’s plan (Genesis 39:4–6).
The high-level conspiracy and its exposure resulting in the imprisonment of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker were part of God’s plan (Genesis 40:1–3).
Joseph being appointed to care for them was part of God’s plan (Genesis 40:4).
The dreams the cupbearer and baker had were (obviously) part of God’s plan (Genesis 40:5).
Joseph’s compassionate care for their troubled hearts was part of God’s plan (Genesis 40:6–7).
Their trusting Joseph’s integrity enough to confide their dreams in him was part of God’s plan (Genesis 40:8–20).
Written by Jon Bloom
Read more at Desiring God