Today is Yom Teruah (a.k.a. Rosh Hashana) or the Feast of Trumpets. According to tradition, there are several key events in history that happened on this day. For starters, tradition says that the creation of Adam and Eve occurred on this day. It’s also believed, according to some interpretations, that Noah removed the cover of the ark (Gen. 8) and, centuries later, the plague of flies was unleashed upon Egypt. Those are just a few of the events believed to have happened on the first day of Tishri.
One of the more fascinating traditions about this day is the belief that Joseph, son of Jacob, was released from his prison cell and summoned to stand before Pharaoh as recorded in Genesis 41:14-15.
“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.’”
Of course, Joseph did interpret the dream and because of that he was elevated to a position of power, becoming viceroy to the king of Egypt. Rising to that position guaranteed that he would be in the right place at the right time and fulfill his destiny as God’s agent, by which He would save all of Israel.
It is important to note that Israel’s salvation might not have happened if Joseph hadn’t been sold into slavery by his brothers, separated from his family and eventually tossed into prison, falsely accused. If those things had not happened, Joseph would not have met the cupbearer and couldn’t have interpreted his dream. And if he had not interpreted the cupbearer’s dream, then he would never have been given the opportunity to stand before the king of Egypt. It is incredibly important to see that Joseph’s submission to God’s purpose and his willingness to endure the suffering he was subjected to is what put him in the right place at the right time.
When we go through times of suffering, it’s our natural inclination to question God. We might ask, “Why are you letting this happen?” or “What’s the purpose of all of this?” Sometimes, these trials may even cause us to doubt God’s purposes for us. Perhaps Joseph experienced similar doubts and concerns but he provides an example of what happens when we are determined to persevere. Sometimes, our trials are God’s way of saying, “Before I put you in a position of authority, are you going to trust Me to see you through this difficulty? Are you going to be faithful to Me in spite of your circumstances?” Apparently, Joseph passed the test because he was brought out of prison and he was elevated to a position of power.
So we see the necessity of enduring trial and tribulation, whether its being separated from loved ones or being falsely accused. Oftentimes, suffering is how God brings us to the place where our focus is concentrated on Him. Because if we prove to be faithful to Him in spite of our desperate situation, it might be said of us just as it was said of Joseph; that there is none wiser, more discreet and full of the Spirit of God (Gen. 41:38-39).
We all desire to be full of the Spirit of God just as we all long to be wise and discreet but how many are truly willing to pay the price? We are living in perilous times and there is no doubt that the Creator is looking for those who can be trusted to fulfill His will. Before we are placed in a position of authority, like Joseph, we must be willing to go endure the suffering. So whatever you’re going through right now, though it seems oppressive and difficult and you’re not really sure why it’s happening, keep believing. Continue to be faithful and place your trust in what He has promised. In time, probably when you least expect it, the call to come out of prison will happen.