Joseph being one of the sons of Jacob was under God’s covenant with Abraham which was, “ to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7, 9-13). By this covenant God gives Himself, with all His attributes, with all that He is and has to Abraham and his seeds. This implies that with this covenant, God binds Himself to His covenanted people to be their portion, their all, and that His grace, protections, goodness and blessings are theirs. Those concerned are expected to respond in faith, trust God as their Lord, make sincere effort to please Him by an obedient life and walk before God and be perfect.
All Joseph’s actions, deeds and words revealed he was aware of the covenant, understood it, accepted it and responded rightly to it as someone under the covenant. His closeness to Jacob, his father who happened to be a person in that covenant relationship with the true God must have contributed a lot to his great faith and stand with God Genesis 17:7; 31:13.
This implies that Joseph believed and trusted in the Lord God Almighty, God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Genesis 17: 1; Exodus 3:6). God was a vibrant reality to Him. He had great unwavering faith in God. In fact he was a perfect example of what the statement that, “the just shall live by faith” implies. His great faith in God could be said to be the source of his spiritual power that made him work hard, persevere in suffering, and not to give up on life, fall into satanic temptations or lose faith in God during the time of his great challenges/trials. This is because according to Charles Spurgeon, “a person who believes God gains strength for work, patience for suffering, whole heartedness for love, earnestness for obedience, and zealousness for service.
Joseph as a result of his faith undoubtedly operated under God’s special grace of the Holy spirit which enabled him to develop and exhibit all the godly characters such as love, fear of God, obedience, purity, kindness, humility, long-suffering/perseverance, fearlessness, self-control, prudence, honesty and kindness.
A critical study of Joseph’s life revealed that of a young man who not only believed in God as his God, but one who was intimate with God; he also had personal relationship of Father/son with God. He did not hide under the umbrella of his father’s religiosity. He made a decision by himself and entered a personal relationship with God. He chose to love, obey and walked with God. Although, the Scripture was silent on his pious devout activities, however, he must have maintained a very good communion with God as his own God and father. He must have involved in all he saw his father did in worshipping God.
His being intimate with God helped him to know and understand God personally; this denotes that He knew and understood God’s Attributes and moral characters beyond what anyone including his father might have told him about God but by God’s own revelations of Himself to him. Of great help was his knowledge and understanding of God’s Holiness, Sovereignty, Omnipotence and providence. Because he understood God’s omnipresence which implies the Invisible presence of God being present everywhere with each child of His as with every other one of His children. He was able to live in the conscious awareness of that fact as well as God’s other attributes. His knowing and understanding of God’s Holiness made him to keep himself holy from sins, Genesis 37:2; 39: 9. His knowledge and understanding of God Sovereignty made him to live a dependent life on Him in total surrender and obedience knowing that God is in control of every happening in life. Genesis 45: 5-8; 50:20.
Joseph was a worthy example of one who lived a life totally dependent on God and not dependent on his own wisdom, efforts to survive and succeed. Genesis 40:8c: 41:16. More importantly Joseph believed so much in God that he lived a consecrated life to God. He lived as a true believer in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity both in the private and in the public to the extent that other people (unbelievers) could see the reflections of God’s presence in Him, Genesis 39:3; 41:38. His life was a blessing to others he came across, Genesis 39:5, 23.
Joseph had a victorious and fulfilled life because he believed and trusted God and lived his life in total dependence and obedience to God’s will. God was with him, helped and blessed him in all he did, Genesis 39:2-5, 21-23; 41:39-45.
Joseph’s victorious and prosperous life is an example of God’s type of life for his children – a life lived dependent on God, for God and by God. Life on earth was never planned to be lived in defeat and independent of God, the owner and giver of life. However, the sin of disobedience of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to God’s commandment (which was an act of unbelief) made man become independent of God. However God in His infinite mercy and love for mankind gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for the salvation of mankind so that man can be restored and have God’s original life for him, 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:4.
To dare to be like Joseph is to believe in God as he believed and make Him one’s Lord. It is to believe He is real, true and alive and that He is not a force, a principle or an idea, Hebrews 11:6: John 14:1. It is to believe and know He is the only true God, our God, Creator and Salvation and entrust our life into His hand and worship Him alone, Psalm 100: 3. God is the source and owner of life and it is expected of all to be totally dependent on Him. This dependence on God is called faith. Faith is the way we come back into relationship with God through Jesus Christ and it is also the way we are to continue living till eternity. Having faith in God involves an exchange of self-trust for God-trust, that is, we stop trusting in ourselves or others and trust Him alone totally.
It is a pity that many people including youths have been deceived by the world’s educational system and science to believe there is no God. There is God and only a fool will say otherwise, Psalm 14:1. As a result of this they get angry when told about God/Jesus, heaven and hell. Some believe God/Jesus yet procrastinate their coming and committing their lives to Him because they consider they are still very young. The best time to believe God is when one is young because doing so will stabilize one’s life and prevents one from making many mistakes those who do so later make earlier in their lives. It is best to know God and live for God early in life as the preacher advices “Remember Now thy Creator in the days of thy youth….”, Ecclesiastes 12:1-12. Don’t ever think you are too young to believe and live for God. Examples of people who believed in God in their youth and made exploits in life are seen in the Bible, such as Samuel, King David and King Hezekiah.
To dare to be like Joseph is to get acquainted and intimate with God the way he did. God is personal and He wants us to get personal with Him. God’s only recommended way to get intimate with Him in this present dispensation of the new covenant of peace and grace is to enter a father/son relationship with Him so as to have His type of life. This is strictly a spiritual matter because God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in truth and spirit, John 4:24. This can be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ alone who says, “I am the way, the truth and life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, John 14:6. This is achieved by believing everything the Scripture tells us about God’s love gift to the world (Jesus Christ) such as; was born of a virgin mother, lived a sinless life, died as a sacrifice for our sins, rose from the grave, and entrusting our souls and lives to Him as one’s personal Lord and Savior. With this, one becomes a son of God having His Spirit and type of Life, John 1: 12. This is what is meant by being born again, John 3: 3. Believing in Jesus is the only way to become a son of God and have God’s type of Life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, John 3:16
What I am saying here is that, God the owner and giver of life and the one that understands the true nature of life in this world under Satan’s influences wants us to have the best of life and victory over life’s hurdles has commanded us to believe in Him and His Son alone, John 14:1. One of the main declarations of the scriptures is “he that believeth… shall be saved” , Mark 16:16. All the books of the Scripture are written so that ye might believe and that in believing ye might have life, John 20:31.
To dare to be like Joseph is to be steadfast and deeply rooted in faith in God as he did. Could you imagine that Joseph who was sold as a slave at about seventeen to eighteen years of age to Egypt, a strange land full of idols still lived with the consciousness of God in Him and would not sin against God, Genesis 39 : 9; Exodus 20: 1- 6. He spoke gloriously of God before Pharaoh without fear of being killed for speaking about a God higher than Pharaoh regarded as god himself, Genesis 41:16. The names he gave his two children are in honor of God, Genesis 41: 51&52. This is someone who was born before any written Scriptural books or the giving of the Mosaic laws. He was all alone in a strange land with no parents/pastor, brothers, uncles or friends to counsel or encourage him, he did not attend any church service, home fellowship, Bible school or Bible study classes because there were none by then. Yet he did not join himself to do the abominable of idol worshiping. He remained loyal and committed to God Almighty. What a steadfast Faith in God! This is the type of faith God desires of each of us, “the just shall live by faith” Romans 1:17.
It is very easy for anyone who finds himself/herself in situations or challenges similar to Joseph’s own to make a shipwreck of one’s faith but he did not. This was because he not only had a personal faith relationship with His God, He was rooted, built up and stabilized in faith in Him as required of believers “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; Rooted and built up in Him, and stabilized in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving”, Colossians 2: 6-7. Faith is very essential to the vitality of Christianity. Faith is the lifeline by which the saved person anchors unto God under all conditions of life.
Anyone that has embraced God’s salvation through Jesus is expected to remain in faith with Jesus because only those who abide in Him will continue to have life and growth and fruitfulness: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.…; for without me you can do nothing. If a man abide not in me; he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”, John 15:4-6. All God’s promises of provision, protection, deliverance, long life, grace and many others are only for those who remain abiding in God as Psalm 91 clearly reveals.
Not abiding in Jesus Christ which leads to being rooted, built up and established in faith is where many have missed it and have fallen out with God. Many, instead of holding unto God in faith are holding on to their pastors, parents, church building, academic/professional achievements, spiritual gifts, physical and spiritual endowments, wealth and many others. All these are weak anchors that cannot hold one’s life ship firmly and secure in the restless, unstable and dangerous sea of life without breaking and causing the ship to capsize. Only anchoring into Jesus can keep one from falling out of faith, Jude 24.
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to know and understand the attributes and moral characters of our God and Father personally as he did. Also, a lack of personal knowledge of God could be said to be the reason why many supposed Christians, children of God commit suicide. It is the reason people run from pillar to post looking for help from whom there is no help in time of life’s storms. It is also the reason why many are powerless, weak, fearful, afflicted and being tossed up and down like football and made to commit suicide by Satan and his cohorts from the kingdom of darkness. It is still the reason why there is so much evil and wickedness perpetuated by people who claim to be Christians against fellow humans. It is still the same reason why many have become victims of their circumstances instead of victors over their circumstances. What a pathetic situation! Did God not say in His word that “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished, And their multitude dried up with thirst.” Isaiah 5:13. Most of the pains and sorrows we pass through are avoidable if we had known God vibrantly. Knowing God intimately is surely God’s greatest desire for His children, “For I desire mercy, and not sacrifices; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” , Hosea 6:6.
When we get to know and understand our God and father, we understand our own identity better. We are the sons of the Most High God invested with so much power and authority as revealed. However, the manifestation of these powers in us greatly depends on our understanding of the workings of the powers in us. We can only understand these powers through the knowledge we have of the owner and giver of such powers, the Almighty God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Only when we do this can we do great exploits, Daniel 11:32. This is the reason Apostle Paul prayed for the Church, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. From whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the width, and length, and depth, and height. To know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to live in the consciousness of God’s invisible presence with us anywhere we go as he did. If there is an area many of us in Christendom are seriously inadequate and suffering for; it is living in the awareness of His Invisible presence with us as He promised. “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” , Matthew 28:20. Living in the conscious awareness of His presence with us is what makes one remain optimistic amid discouragement, patient amid tribulations, brave amid strife, cheerful amid monotony. Nothing makes one feel better than knowing that God loves you, that He is always there for you and would always take care of you no matter what happens.
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to live a consecrated life to God as he did to the extent that others could see the light of God in him. “You are the light of the world”. We are admonished to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven”, Matthew 5:16. Often times what people see in our lives can make a bigger impression on them about our God than what they hear from our lips.
If Joseph could believe God the way he did and at a very young age without Bible, Bible scholars, teachers or preacher, then you that have everything telling you about God have no excuse. A life without God is a life full of crisis. Believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and have life, Acts 16:31.
Listen to the wordings of this song whose writer’s name I don’t know, but which I believe will minister to you titled “GOD WILL”
God will walk with me down the street where no one else will walk
God will talk with me about things which no one else will talk
When no one else will walk, and no else will talk, when no one else will
God will bear with me the little worries no one knows are there
God will care for me whenever there is no one else to care
When no one will be there and no one else will care
when no one will,
God will talk with me when friends forget and fail to understand
God will strengthen me when I am weak and need a helping hand
When no one understands, or lends a helping hand
when no else will,
If you have not yet embraced God’s gracious salvation through Jesus Christ, please, come to Him now by taking the steps written below;
· Admit you are a sinner, Romans 3:23; 6:23.
· Repent of all sins, Acts 3:19. 1John 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, Revelation 3:20
LIFE IS VERY COMPLEX. YOU CANNOT MANAGE IT ALL BY YOURSELF. GIVE YOUR LIFE TO JESUS SO THAT HE WOULD HELP YOU LIVE WELL!
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.
Please, contact me if you have questions.