Tonight, I began a series of four messages on the life of Joseph from the Old Testament. One of the great things about God’s Word is that it continually speaks to us in fresh ways, even if we have read the same passage a hundred times! You can read the life story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37 and following. His jealous and bitter brothers throw him in a pit and plot how they will explain his absence to their father. The Bible identifies this “pit” as an empty cistern – that’s a big hole in the ground that was used to store water. You can still see empty cisterns in Israel today. In fact, some of them were as much as twenty or thirty feet deep.
Can you imagine being young Joseph? For the first seventeen years of his life, he has known nothing but privilege. He was born into a prosperous family. He was the favored son. Now, in the course of one morning, his entire life is wrecked, the life that he knows is taken away, and he is thrown into a pit not knowing what the future holds. I am sure those twenty feet high walls of the cistern looked huge to a frightened teenager. Joseph was in a pit – a big one! Nevertheless, there was a simple lesson for Joseph in that pit: when you are in a pit – look up! The one positive thing about a pit is that the only place you can look is up. Look up to the Lord who is sovereign over all and in control of your situation.
Maybe you are reading this blog right now and you are in a pit. Maybe it’s a financial pit, or a relational pit. Perhaps it’s the pit of family conflict, or the pit of discouragement. Remember, there is one good thing about a pit – the only place you can look is up! Look up to Jesus right now and find renewed hope!