March 17, 2012
St. Patrick’s Day
I’d never linked two of my heroes until today.
Joseph Jacobson (Joseph of the Old Testament in Genesis 37-50) and Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland.
Notice I did not call him St. Patrick of Ireland. Patrick was British. He was kidnapped as a young teen from his family’s estate and brought to Ireland where he served as a slave. During this difficult time, his Christian faith deepened and after escaping to Europe, later returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. During his lifetime the pagan island converted to Christianity. What a man. What a story.
Short video of Patrick’s life
Much of his ministry was in Western Ireland, including County Mayo. This is the ancestral home of my Irish line of Moores and Molloys. We are products of the work of Saint Patrick.
Croagh Patrick (Patrick’s Mountain) is on Clew Bay, where my Irish ancestor Joe Moore stowed away to come to America circa 1850.
Joseph, a Jewish teen, was sold as a slave by his own brothers, sent to Egypt where he endured two decades of slavery and prison before rising to a high level of government and saving the region from famine. Included in this was the seventy plus Jews (his family) that existed in the entire world at this time.
From that Jewish family, Jesus, whom both Patrick and I believe(d) is the true Son of God and Savior of the world, came.
There are several lessons from Joseph and Patrick:
1. Both endured undeserved hardship and came out of it stronger. Their faith flourished in slavery and trouble.
2. Both became better not bitter. That is the amazing part of each’s journey. They rose above jealousy, racial prejudice, and hatred to become a blessing to their oppressors.
3. Both saw the hand of God and His sovereignty in the direction of their lives. Joseph’s declarations to his brothers:
“It wasn’t you who sent me, but God…” Genesis 45
and “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” Genesis 50:20 are two of the strongest statements in the Old Testament.
Read the entire Joseph narrative from Genesis New Living Translation
Joseph and St. Patrick: Thanks guys for showing us how it’s done. May the God who shaped your hearts shape ours too.
More on St. Patrick’s Amazing Life