“So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe…he was wearing – and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty.” Genesis 37:20-21
If you ever considered whether the Bible could still be related to in our times, we only have to look at the story of Joseph. While Joseph might have been a little bit on the spoiled side and favored by his father, he certainly didn’t deserve the treatment from his family. Full of jealousy and hatred, the brothers plotted to get rid of him and rid themselves of their brother once and for all. Joseph was extremely favored and enjoyed much of his father’s wealth and kindness. Then one day he found himself completely stripped of everything and the hands of his brothers, sitting in the bottom of a cistern, or well. Those five haunting words that ushered in the power of God... "Now the cistern was empty."
God could have placed anything down in that well for He was aware of the circumstances that Joseph was getting ready to endure. But like many times God wishes us to reach out in faith during those dark times when we have been stripped of something. He uses the darkness of our cistern dwellings to provide water when the well is empty. He dwells in the damp places of our dark souls during these fearful and uncertain times. How many days did Joseph sit in the bottom of that well on the cold floor? Did he daydream of the days of the past when he had everything he needed and enjoyed the prosperity of those times? Or did he look up at the sky in faith trusting God for his rescue and his future? Would he ever leave that place and return to a life of certainty, calmness, and normalcy again?
Can we relate to this? Ask the woman who is waiting for her soul mate after so many dashed relationships. Ask the couple who has been on their knees for years praying for a child. Ask the man who is unemployed and trying to support his family of six. We all have had times where we have been stripped of something and thrown into a situation that looks dark and lonely. We are stripped of our peace because of that situation…we feel that we will never climb out of our cistern and see the daylight of resolution.
We must be confident that God will not leave us in our deep wells. ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ Joshua 1:5. We have to truly believe that whatever challenges we face will be used for our good and God’s glory. ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…’ Genesis 50:20. We must remember that we are not citizens of this cistern but are future residents of Heaven. ‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’ Philippians 3:20.