The Joseph Road by Jerry White

January 18, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

This is the crux of The Joseph Road: Not knowing one thing about the future, Joseph simply did good in whatever tasks or opportunities came his way. He had no bargains or promises given him, no “steps to success.” He was still a slave – a slave who was now a royal prisoner. Not much to write home about. He was an alien, a captive without possessions, without a promise, without a future.

The Joseph Road, p. 47

Summary: The Joseph Road is written by Jerry White, international president emeritus of The Navigators. As the title suggests, the book is about the life of the Biblical character Joseph. Along the way, White mixes stories from his own life with the challenges that Joseph faced. This softcover book is 197 pages and includes questions for reflection at the end of each chapter.

Review: As I grow older, I appreciate the story of Joseph more and more. Joseph endured all kinds of injustice and hardship. Just when things couldn’t seem to get worse, they did get worse. Year after year he suffered – with no end in sight. Through it all, Joseph was a model of character and trust. He continued to do the right thing – even when it would have been easier to turn his back on the God who already seemed to have turned His back on Joseph. The story of Joseph is one of the most remarkable and redemptive stories I have ever heard.

White does a great job drawing out aspects of the narrative I had never really considered and takes the reader through the story of Joseph in a way that is new, eye-opening and immensely applicable. I found the book equally challenging and comforting. I found it challenging because I clearly see how I have not been like Joseph. In the midst of my hardship, I have cursed God. I have taken matters into my own hands. I have sought revenge against those who have hurt me. I have lost hope for the future. My confidence in God has been profoundly shaken.

Meanwhile, I am reminded that God has a plan. God has a plan. No matter how confusing. No matter how painful. No matter how unpredictable. God has a plan. And God was with Joseph. Through all the heartache and loneliness and dejection, God was with Joseph. Stories like that encourage, provide hope and bolster faith. Looking back on the life of Joseph, God’s hand is clear throughout. In the thick of it, though, Joseph had many reasons to give up on his faith.

Overall, this is an excellent book for those struggling to see God’s goodness and questioning His lead. My only criticism is that I wasn’t always sold on what White inferred where the text wasn’t clear. For example, I had different thoughts as to what Joseph was going through during the times he wept. In one instance, White took it as a sign that Joseph had forgiven his brothers. I took it as a release of all the painful emotions that Joseph had been living with for so long. Also, White believes that Potipher likely knew that his wife was lying about the attempted rape, because Joseph probably would have been executed otherwise. I am not sure that I buy this because Potiphar “burned with anger” upon hearing the allegations (Genesis 39:19).

Rating: 5/5 (There is a lot to learn by digging deep into the life of Joseph.)

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

This book was provided for review by NavPress.  To learn more about or purchase this book on Amazon, click here.

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