The story of Joseph contains many important lessons. Here are some of the main ones:
- God honors whom He wills – Being tried and tested in life does not mean that God dislikes you. In fact, as we see in this story, God tested the most beloved of people to him – His Messengers. Likewise, a lack of trials and hardships is not a sign of God’s pleasure. In this story, despite the challenges of abandonment, slavery, false accusation and prison, Joseph remains strong in his faith and adhering to God’s teachings, and in turn, God honors and protects him.
- Integrity and noble character – Joseph displays the highest of morals and character throughout his whole life and in all the circumstances he finds himself in. As a slave and a prisoner, he is the epitome of good conduct and integrity. Even when he is given the chance to leave prison, Joseph refuses, instead insisting that his innocence is first declared before leaving prison.
- Mindful of God at all times – In prison, before interpreting the dreams of his fellow inmates, Joseph teaches them about God and calls them to worship Him alone. When faced with the option of agreeing to the demands of the elite immodest women, Joseph turns to God and prefers prison over disobedience to God.
- Looking at the greater good – After years have passed, and his former inmate returns to him with the king’s dream, Joseph does not berate him but rather interprets the dream, due to the major need of people to prepare for the upcoming difficulties.
- Forgiveness – Despite the real harm Joseph’s brothers did to him, Joseph forgives and pardons them when they return. Joseph is now in a position of power and importance. He could have done as he pleased and would have had a right to do so. Yet instead, he chooses the harder but more rewarding option of forgiving and pardoning.
- Endurance and perseverance – The story of Joseph is one of endurance and perseverance. Throughout his life, Joseph displayed amazing levels of patience, from the moment he is thrown into the well, throughout his years of slavery and prison, and then when his brothers stand before him once again. Jacob also displayed high levels of endurance and perseverance, having no news of his son Joseph for decades, and then eventually losing his second son Benjamin.
- Trust in God – Throughout all of his challenges, Joseph continued to trust in God, knowing that He had a higher plan and purpose for him. This is stated by Joseph after being reunited with his family. He recognized the subtlety and beauty in God’s plans.