11 Jun The Marketplace: A Study on Joseph’s Life
Joseph’s story is found in the book of Genesis chapters 37, 39-41.
The first lesson is the power of vision.
He embraced the vision God had for him. Mary, the mother of Jesus; as well as the widow of Zarephath; and Saul who became Paul, all embraced God’s vision for their lives. (See 1 Kings 17:8-24, Acts 9:4-22, Luke 1:26-38). God usually seeks people with a heart for His purposes to make known His plans for them. His vision is usually God-centred, sacrificial, but very fulfilling. It calls for faith, changes, obedience and great expectations.
Proverbs 29:18 (AMPC)
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.
Sharing a vision demands wisdom. Sometimes there are “incubation” stages for the vision. So we need to be careful who we share God’s vision with.
Joseph had loyalty to God, his father and his brothers. Loyalty comes from being faithful to a cause or a person.
Luke 16:10-13 (AMPC)
He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much.
Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches?
And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another [whether God or man], who will give you that which is your own [that is, the true riches]?
No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely).
It starts with commitment. When you are committed beyond convenience, you are considered faithful. When you are faithful beyond convenience, you are loyal.
Relationship With God
Joseph’s story also shows us demonic plans to thwart God’s purposes in his life. The envy, wickedness and evil intentions of his brothers could: do irreparable damage to his psyche; produce low self-esteem; hinder future expectations that are great or positive, etc.
Joseph’s relationship with God must have been very strong to handle these things.
We also see the need to grow strong in the Lord, mature in our convictions, and understand the terrain in which we operate. There’s an enemy who will use the world’s systems, the unregenerate human feelings and emotions- including pride; lust; and self-pity, then his own demons to do damage to God’s Kingdom and purpose as well as any agents of God.
The fact that the Lord was with Joseph all through tells us that he too was pressing into the Lord.
Psalms 91:9-16 (AMPC)
Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
Joseph’s loyalty was again tested in not agreeing with Potiphar’s wife and her desires.
You use authority for the benefit of the one who gave it.
Jesus said if anyone will be his disciple he should be prepared to deny self!
Matthew 16:24-26 (AMPC)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed]life [in the kingdom of God]?
In the midst of all these Joseph was developing his leadership as well as his personal life.
Luke 2:52 (AMPC)
And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.
It’s God’s way of checking as well as preparing us for the future He has for us.
Be prepared to pass your tests. Be prepared to pay the real price of discipleship.
Be in a state of constant dependency on God; Looking to Him for wisdom, direction and strength.
Stay loyal and faithful to God and man in your heart and attitude, as well as actions.
Commit your future into His hands.
Be contented with where you are with gratitude but stay hungry for more of God.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and maintain your heart of prayerful devotion to God. Casting all your cares and be grateful.
Many abort process because lessons are not learned and tests are failed. Denying self is not an occasional test, but a demand for a change of lifestyle. ‘Self’ is simply your thoughts, attitudes, feelings and actions that are mine independent of God’s Spirit and influence.
Galatians 2:20 (AMPC)
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 6:14 (AMPC)
But far be it from me to glory [in anything or anyone] except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!
Galatians 6:8 (AMPC)
For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.