Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Genesis 41:41-46a

God baptized me into the criticism of man to inoculate me against the approval of man. - Beth Moore

I love this quote from Beth as it relates to Joseph - and US! Joseph had years of suffering under the hatred of his brothers, being sold into slavery, then being falsely accused and imprisoned. God needed to work humility into the cocky teen who had strutted his stuff, proudly wearing his coat of many colors. Joseph was given a vision from God that one day his family would bow down to him. But first he had to have the pride weeded out. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (I Peter 5:6) Apparently the “due time” had come for Joseph! At last, he was ready to assume authority in the land of Egypt, with a heart fully submitted to his God.

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” [or “Bow down!] Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Gen 41:41-46a)

This was heady stuff! Joseph had just been plucked from prison, dressed to the hilt, and paraded before the people in a chariot! Is this an illustration of the “Peter Principle?” Had Joseph been promoted to the level of his incompetence? Well, that would be the case if God had not been with Him.

God can gift and skill people for public service and business in ways the exceed formal education. - Beth Moore.

One of the main points that Beth Moore makes in this portion of her study, The Patriarchs, is that God does not just put Christians into ministry within the church. He needs the light in the darkness, so He positions His people in places of authority within the corporate and political world, within the public school system, etc. Besides Joseph, we have the examples of Moses, Deborah, David, Esther, Nehemiah, and Daniel. Even Paul was also a tentmaker! We sometimes think that only the pastor can be used by God. However, whether it is in the board room or the family room, God can and does use His people wherever they will submit to His authority and call.

So, if you have been called to a place of greater authority at work or in public service, ask God to give you the intelligence you don’t have, and the discernment and wisdom He gave Joseph. Beth Moore defines discernment as “the ability to know something I couldn’t possibly know.” Only God can give us this!

Joseph was about to take over one of the most powerful jobs in the world. Pharaoh had recognized Joseph’s discernment and wisdom as being due to the presence of God in his life. (vs. 39) Do people see His presence in our lives? Does this distinguish us from others as it distinguished Joseph? We’ll see tomorrow how Joseph handles his new job!


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