I was watching The 700 Club this morning, specifically the part called "Bring it On" in which Pat Robertson answers theological or questions of faith from viewers. Here's what I would ask Pat:
Was Joseph a bad or ineffective believer? Did he miss it greatly? More than a decade is a long time to live in the midst of pain and craziness if you're life is pleasing to God. Is it possible for a Christian to have a daily prayer life and quiet time in the Word, be obedient to get the sin out of their lives, have a true heart toward the Lord and the things of God, and still go through a prolonged period where nothing makes sense?
Sometimes I wonder if Joseph was alive today, and we looked at him critically during the eighth or ninth year of his ordeal, what our assessment would be of his spiritual life. Certainly, he couldn't be walking by faith with an obedient heart. Faith moves the hands of God, so He wouldn't be in that situation -- for that long -- if he truly believed.
I got it! Maybe he's not paying his tithes.
Or, it's probably a sin problem. There must be a hidden sin he hasn't addressed or repented from and left in the past. (This one is actually the most silly, because every one of us has sin problem...it's called the sin nature -- reread the second half of Romans 7. Thank God for the sin solution: Jesus).
I'm not minimizing the role of disobedience or bad decision in the trials of life. That's definitely part of the equation. There's not one of us who hasn't "reaped what we've sown," so to speak, while working out our salvation. That includes me and you.
But the Bible doesn't mention anything specific of that nature in Joseph's case. We have to assume he was fallible and made mistakes like the rest of us, but for the most part was doing the right things, and all hell broke loose in his life.
Can you imagine how we would dissect, make assumptions, and judge that guy if we didn't have the luxury of knowing the end of his story and what God was doing during the process?
I don't know if Pat will receive or answer my question, but you can view The 700 Club online each day at http://www.cbn.com.