Pharaoh made Joseph a ruler in Egypt. As in his usual character, Joseph accepted and adjusted quickly to his new position and started work in earnest that very day of his appointment, Genesis 41:46. As he had successfully predicted, the seven plenteous years of harvest came. He diligently carried out the ingathering and storage of harvested goods until the years ended, Genesis 41:47-49. Then the seven years of famine started and because he had in wisdom prudently stored up harvested goods, only in the land of Egypt was food. He was careful and prudent in giving and selling out stored grains to the Egyptians who came to buy and also people from other nations. He managed the whole situation perfectly and successfully that the stored goods were not exhausted and lasted until the seven years famine ended. He was so faithful in carrying out Pharaoh’s business in his care that Pharaoh never had any cause to question his sincerity. He was indeed a perfect example of good stewardship that believers are supposed to render in all our dealings in any business.
One of the challenges facing youths these days is the area of their duties. Many don’t want to work but want to live big. As a result of this. many of them live in penury and abject poverty and sooner than not they become depressed and suicidal blaming their foes on everyone around them. Unfortunately among the few employed, many are so dishonest, unfaithful, unaccountable, and fraudulent that they ruined businesses committed into their care. What a false projection this is to Christianity! The truth is that Christianity does not condone laziness, fraud, dishonesty, unaccountability, trustworthiness, and unfaithfulness (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Work was the first thing God instituted for man after he was created (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). Work is man’s means of keeping the body, soul. and spirit together and putting food on the table. There is no food for lazy man (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The patriarchs, our Lord Jesus himself, the disciples, and early Christians were all prudent, hardworking, faithful, diligent in their chosen professions. All Christians are called to serve to do whatever they can lay their hand on. Our Lord Jesus taught us the importance of being faithful in whatever work others engage us to do for them saying “He that is faithful in the least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust in much. If therefore ye the unrighteous mammon who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own” (Luke 16:10-12). This simply implies that how you treat other people’s business in your care determines your blessings! God rewards hard work and faithfulness!.
To dare to be like Joseph is to be hardworking, prudent, and diligent in whatever we do. Joseph from childhood had proved himself to be hardworking and one who did everything he laid his hand on with all his heart and as unto the Lord and God blessed him, Genesis 39:3. As a teenager, he was dutiful to his father and went with his brothers to look after their father’s flock and was never involved in any shady deals his brothers perpetuated. When he was a slave in Potiphar’s house, he carried out his duties with all diligence that Potiphar made him the overseer over his household. When he was falsely imprisoned, he also performed his duties excellently that he was also put in charge of other prisoners. For Joseph, there was no time for dulling, idleness, or laziness at work, and all those he worked for never doubted his integrity and honesty in business. He was indeed a prudent, honest, and trustworthy man. Truly “a prudent man stands before kings and not mean men,” Proverbs 22: 29.
BEING LOYAL/ FAITHFULNESS TO GOD
Joseph as a family man was blessed with two sons within the first seven years of plenty. He named the first son Manasseh which means “For God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” He named the second one Ephraim which means “For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction,” (Genesis 41:50-51). The names revealed he still maintained his intimate personal relationship with his God despite all the unpalatable things he passed through and his many years of sojourn in a strange land where the God he served was not being worshipped. The naming of his sons in acknowledgment of the Almighty God and not any of the idols of Egypt indicated that his staying in the land full of idolatry for almost twenty years, his being married to the daughter of an Egyptian idol priest and his being the second in command position to Pharaoh considered as a god and an idol worshipper notwithstanding, he remained loyal to Jehovah, God of his father’s – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is to say that six of the most powerful things of influence that can cause one to become disloyal to God which are environment, fame, power, riches, position, love life,and close association/relationship with idol worshippers could not influence him to join in idol worship and become disloyal to his God. What a loyal and outstanding man of faith Joseph was!
Joseph at a very young age entered into a personal intimate relationship with God and remained loyal to God through thick and thin. The death of his mother could not make him hate God, so also hatred and ill-treatment by family members could not. The downturns of life couldn’t affect him so also the upturns of life. Long years before fulfillment of his dreams could not make him give up on God. His staying all alone without a family member in a land full of idolatry as Egypt for years did not make him forget about his God. His wife of a different tradition, custom, and religious background couldn’t influence him to worship idols as Jezebel influenced King Ahab and as the wives of King Solomon turned his heart from God. Nothing could corrupt him, nothing could make him deny God!
Joseph held on to God in the darkest part of his life as well as in the sunshine years. This is loyalty and faithfulness! This is the mark of someone who deliberately chose to worship God, not for gain but because He alone is God. It is the mark of one who has genuine love and faith in God in his heart. It is a mark of one whose heart has been surrendered totally to God. In his sunshine days, he did not allow fame, power, and riches to derail him and make him forget his God. He showed us with his exemplary life that staying loyal and faithful to God from the beginning of our life to the end of it irrespective of the challenges that come our way is possible.
Being disloyal to God our creator is one of the temptations one could face in life. It is pathetic to note that majority of those who claimed to be atheists today have Christian backgrounds, but they fell out with God for reasons such as:
1) failure/disappointment of not receiving answers to their prayers or desires.
2) Hardship and suffering.
3) Taking offense with God because a believer they trusted and looked up to let them down.
4) They have gotten their heart desires or achieved their goals and believed they no longer need God.
4) Some left because they were being enticed by the fame/wealth of the occult.
5) Some left because they were envious of the prosperity of the heathen and felt God wasn’t fair to them.
6) Some left because they had become rich and comfortable.
6) Some because of the overwhelming storms of life faced.
Falling out with God is the worst mistake any human could make.
It is a fact that in life there are certain situations one would get to such as arriving at the top of one’s career, fame, the glory that one would feel being on top of the world, and belief that one has arrived; that time that one is fulfilled, comfortable and has all one’s heart desires. At that point, the possibility of thinking that there is nothing more needed again in life would be high. This is the period many would claim to be self-made forgetting that all has been the Lord’s doing.
It is also a fact that there are certain situations one would face that it will seem as if God has hidden or turned His back at us or that He is against us or has even forsaken us. At such times the temptation to seek help from elsewhere or to give up on God would be high. It is even possible that one may not even have such intentions of seeking help elsewhere. However, the evil one would engineer people close to you to advise one to forsake God as Job’s wife did. They may even go further to go on one’s behalf to go and make a pact or consultation with the devil on one’s behalf without one knowing about it. Please don’t accept whatever charms anyone brings to you as help to overcome life’s storms, you will be entangled. No charms can stop life’s storms! You might be encouraged to go and make a consultation with the seer, the witch doctors etc, please don’t go, this was the mistake King Saul made. Nothing good comes out from such consultations. Having great wealth and success is another thing that could make one become disloyal to God forgetting that it is God that makes one great and wealthy.
You might be staying among unbelievers, and see them with no problems and prospering while you are struggling hard to survive. King David saw himself in this situation and almost slipped as he said in Psalm 73:1-19. Don’t compare your life with the unbelievers, Joseph was alone in a land full of idolatry, yet he remained true and faithful to God. He did not serve their idol and he was not afraid of them (Psalm 16:4). He was able to resist them because he set his eyes on God (Psalm 16: 8-11).
Christianity is referred to as a race because it has a starting point of being born again, a finishing point at death, and also a reward in the afterlife. The reward does not belong to those who begin it, but to those who finished the race enduring the activities of the world, the flesh, and Satan to the end. The world would not want one to finish the race and would try to stop one by dangling the pleasures of the world before one’s eyes, so that one can settle down and give up on one’s faith. Settling for the world’s pleasures, which are all vanities and of no eternal values implies forfeiting God’s eternal reward. The flesh will also seek to entangle one to fulfill its desires and prevent one from pressing on in following God. But remember, those who fulfill the desires of the flesh cannot please God. Satan will make many fierce attacks on your faith but you must persevere. He will use friends, family and loved ones to hate you, persecute you, condemn you, discourage you all in a bid to make you slip, and make you give up on God, However, don’t ever deny God. Satan through the occult might give you seeming wonderful promises of fame and wealth. Know that all his promises are full of lies and deceit, they are deadly snares. Don’t be enticed, nothing he gives lasts. Just endure, don’t because of wealth or any lack you suffer join the occult, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul” (Matthew 16:26). The trend in Christendom now where instead of involving in doing any legitimate work they can lay their hands on to do to fend for themselves and family members, many now take to praying and fasting for miraculous prosperity and blessings. This is not scriptural. If you cannot find any office work, then create one. God gave us hands so that we can work with them. He only blesses the works of our hands. As a result, many able-bodied young men and women have turned to beggars and are a burden to others. This type of lifestyle does not glorify Christ, therefore it must stop! There is work for you to do at the exact location you are. Start at doing something tangible. In the beginning, the result may not be encouraging but with time, you will be happy you did.
Remain steadfast with God because he will recompense you according to your dealings with Him, if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. In your time of prosperity remember God, likewise in the time of your lack. Don’t take your burdens to fellow humans, they will only lead you astray and give you wrong counsel to forsake God. Take whatever your burden is to God in prayer, wait for Him. Don’t lose your confidence in God, Isaiah 26:3.
If you are reading this and have not yet embraced God’s gracious salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, please, come to Jesus now before it is too late by taking the steps written below;
Admit you are a sinner, Romans 3:23; 6:23.
Repent of all sins, Acts 3:19. 1 John 1:9
Believe that God loves you and that Jesus His only Son died for you. Romans 5:8, Acts 10:40 & 43.
Invite Jesus into your heart, Revelations 3:20
Forsake all sin, Isaiah 55:6-7
DON’T EVER FORGET GOD, (DEUTERONOMY 8:11-20(.
GOD LOVES YOU SO DO I.