SEPARATED OR ISOLATED
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17a NKJV
Do you feel cut off from your family because of your faith? Do co-workers ridicule you because you are a Christian? Do you feel alone in a room of so-called saints?
Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, felt the same way. Jacob’s favoritism angered Joseph’s siblings. They hated Joseph and the coat of many colors Jacob made for him.
His brothers labeled Joseph as a tattletale. He reported honestly concerning his brothers and the flocks to Jacob, adding more fuel to their fire.
Joseph was a dreamer, and his interpretation of dreams were correct. In the first dream, they were binding sheaves. Joseph’s sheaf arose while his brothers’ sheaves bowed down around it. In the next dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him symbolizing his brothers plus his parents would bow down to him. This infuriated his brothers. Jacob rebuked Joseph, but kept the interpretation in his thoughts.
Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to check on his brothers and flocks. When Joseph arrived, a man told him his brothers had departed for Dothan. They conspired to murder Joseph as they watched him coming towards them. Reuben suggested they throw him in a pit. His plan was to rescue Joseph. Before Reuben could return for Joseph, his brothers put another plan into action. They spotted some Ishmaelites traveling in their direction. Now the young men plotted to make some money off of Joseph. They pulled him from the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Soaking Joseph’s beloved coat in blood, they fabricated a story that led Jacob to believe Joseph was dead.
Joseph’s story is one of providence. God moved Joseph to Egypt where he was falsely accused and imprisoned until Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dreams. Then Joseph became second in command to Pharaoh, and yes, his family came and bowed down to him.
Joseph was righteous. God gifted him with the wisdom to explain dreams. God had special plans for Joseph, but his life was one of rejection, betrayal, and discouragement.
Except for his father, Joseph lacked the love of his family. He was abhorred for his holiness and his calling. Even in Egypt, his circumstances failed to resemble the dreams God gave him until many years had passed
Christian, we are called to come out from among the unbelieving world. A world that hated Joseph. A world that hated Jesus, and a world that hates us.
Our families and acquaintances may label us as fanatics and holy rollers. As we draw closer to Christ, even other Christians will shun us.
Christians who speak the gospel truth are isolated because many just want a feel-good message.
Friend, you may empathize with Joseph, sharing in the loneliness that surrounds those who are unashamed of the gospel. We were told to come out from among them and be separate, but we never thought we would be isolated. God has placed you where He wants you for this time. Not everyone will accept you, but God has called you for a special purpose, just like Joseph. Try not to let them get to you. That is what Satan wants. God calls out God pleasers, not people pleasers. Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Daniel were singled out, as many Christian servants are today. Enjoy those who celebrate you, ignoring those who tolerate you.
Lord Jesus, help us deal with the loneliness and ridicule we often face as Christians. Wrap us in Your love and keep us from feeling the need to be accepted by everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read Genesis 37.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Avoiding people is not always possible. We can choose to let the words and actions of others affect us, but we can also choose to ignore it.
Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.