Losing to Win

THERE are certain of the Bible characters which all earnest students of the Scriptures learn to love. One of these whose life work has been deemed to be quite worthy of emulating was named Joseph, a son of Israel. Jacob loved this son more than he did the others, no doubt for good and sufficient reasons, which were later to be made more and more manifest, as the natural unfoldment of Truth appeared to him. To indicate visibly his endearment to Joseph, Jacob made him, as the Bible tells us, "a coat of many colors." This mark of favor, together with the natural ability which Joseph displayed very early in youth to see beneath the material surface of things and find God and His perfect idea everywhere, seems to have enraged the carnal mind, just as it does to-day. This resulted in creating jealousy in the hearts of his brethren, which is indicated in more ways than one in the Bible narrative, but perhaps nowhere more graphically than in the thirty-seventh chapter of Genesis, where this very coat of many colors is taken to Jacob as an indication that evil had befallen his best loved son, a premeditated falsehood, as can be borne out by continued reading of this and succeeding chapters. Though Joseph was ever seeming to lose somewhat from the standpoint of men, he was always, nevertheless, making continuous and uninterrupted progress toward a better understanding of God, Truth, toward the final understanding of that which really is, and is all that there is.

This is fittingly illustrated in the lesson of his betrayal by his brethren, who quite unfeelingly sold him as a slave to the merchantmen who were passing by, hoping thereby to get rid of him. In this, mortal mind failed, just as it always does. Taken to Egypt, after having been reported as dead to Jacob, he was sold by the Midianites to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard. Here, we are informed, just as during all his many varied experiences, "the Lord was with Joseph." Was it not quite natural, then, that he should find grace in the eyes of Potiphar? He it was that "made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand." It must be plainly evident to any reader of the Bible that Joseph prospered wherever he went or in whatever he undertook to do, and that, too, in spite of what seemed to be serfdom, divers temptations, which one who was less spiritually imbued might have listened to, and of the enforced imprisonment which he underwent because of unjust accusation. Throughout all these, Joseph remained loyal and steadfast to his highest understanding of God, divine Principle, caring nothing whatever about what men were saying. He refused to be deceived by the lusts of the flesh, the destructive and illusory devices of the carnal or mortal mind. Losing sight, as it were, of these, putting them behind, where they rightfully belong, he gained every step of the way. No material circumstance or condition could in the least interfere with or retard his continuous advance, nor can any one be hindered or hampered in his efforts to attain more Godliness so long as he obeys God's commandments and has but the one infinite God, Spirit.

During the period of his imprisonment we find Joseph unremitting in his daily efforts to reflect more and more brotherly kindness, more of the spirit of Love, irrespective of what it was that seemed to befall him. Each and every trial was, to him, but one more opportunity to prove the allness and goodness of God and the nothingness and impotence of evil, the supposed absence of God, good. When, therefore, the king's butler and baker were ordered to the prison, which had been given into his charge, for "the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison," and they were sorely perplexed, it was Joseph who interpreted their dreams, asking in return merely that he should be made mention of to Pharaoh, that he might be discharged from the prison. This the butler neglected to do, upon his release, yet we find no resentment on Joseph's part because of this. He was led to wait patiently, as Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 454 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she says: "Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must 'have her perfect work.'" Right then, in spite of the seeming, which would indicate that Joseph was being deprived of what the world erroneously chooses to call liberty, he was truly gaining ever so much more than all the burnt offerings of materiality, for he was learning of the wisdom which cometh from God, spiritual understanding.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Perfect Man
September 17, 1921

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.