“And [Joseph’s brothers] took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat” (Genesis 37:24-25a). Joseph’s brothers are, to the bone, evil. They took their brother and threw him into a pit—one deep enough that you cannot climb out. Keep in mind that Joseph did not hit water, but solid ground. And his brothers “sat down to eat” food likely brought by Joseph while he screamed for them to be merciful. Joseph’s pleas were not heard. They sold him into slavery. In a few days, we will read their own words recount this event: “We saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us, and we did not listen” (Genesis 42:21).
Reading Joseph’s story makes you wonder at first glance whether David is an out-of-touch one-percenter when he writes “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4b). Though David is familiar with wealth and servants, he has also known many moments of evil and fear. The Christian life is filled with suffering. The scriptures say, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Through Joseph we will see how God is sovereign over all evil; through David we learn that despite evil the Lord “restores my soul.” Wait for God in suffering, depression, and pits, preaching to yourself and others the Gospel: that because of the sacrifice of Jesus, God is with you, and you “shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”