9. Joseph – Unwavering Faith

The touching story of Joseph inspires, as he transitions from father’s pet to second most powerful person in the world. As God is with him throughout, what looks like the end of the game, triggers his rise to fame.

Objectives

To

  • Understand God’s training ground for top leaders
  • Learn from the qualities of Joseph on how to win in adversity

Joseph – Unwavering Faith

  • From Pet
  • To Pit
  • To Potiphar
  • To Prison
  • To Palace

Note: Reference Material is available in the notes section of the attached powerpoint presentation

The Pet

Joseph was:

  • Clearly the beloved of his parents.
  • Given the birthright by his father with a special long sleeved coat
  • Given dreams of leadership which he shared.
  • Donning the coat daily, rather than the traditional yearly occasion of his birthday. [1]

These triggered jealousy among his brothers

The Pit

  • His pleas for mercy in the pit went unheard
  • Eventually sold to slave traders
  • The family considered him as good as dead.

Discussion

  • What kind of person was Joseph as a kid?
  • How did Joseph feel when suddenly torn from love, admiration to hostility and uncertainty?
  • From spoilt kid to slavery! What struggles would Joseph have gone through?
  • What was the end result? …James 1:2-4

Journey to Egypt

Potiphar’s House

Joseph was:

  • Faithful to his duties as a slave
  • Blessed by God – rose to position of head of all servants
  • Entrusted with everything by Potiphar
  • Seduced by Potiphar’s wife
  • Thrown to prison

ISIS and OSIRIS

A twist to the tale [1].That year as per Egyptian tradition:

  • Potiphar’s wife, as the most beautiful woman in Egypt was chosen to be Isis
  • She chose Joseph to be her Osiris
  • Joseph instead of giving in to a legitimate temptation in Egyptian tradition, chooses God.

Dr. Ron Charles

The Lord was with Joseph – in Potiphar’s House

Gen 39: The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field

Adam vs. Joseph’s Temptation

   

Adam was given everything

Joseph was stripped of everything

The fundamental temptation was same

Lust of flesh, lust of eyes, pride of life.

Adam enjoyed God’s presence

So did Joseph

Adam lingered

Joseph ran

Adam would lose everything by giving in

Joseph  could lose everything by not giving in

Adam avoided God

Joseph accounted to God

Adam lost from a position of strength

Joseph temporarily appeared to have lost but eventually won from a position of weakness

The Lord was with Joseph In Prison

Genesis 39:20b But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

In Prison:

  • God continues to be with Joseph
  • Joseph is favoured and runs prison
  • Interprets dreams
  • Left for years
  • Called by pharoah

Every year, one of the king’s prisoners would be selected as a human sacrifice, dressed (as Joseph was) and sent to Pharoah prior  to be sacrificed.

The journey to Pharoah could have been a long, uncertain one for Joseph. [1]

The Lord was with Joseph – in the Palace

In the palace, Joseph:

  • Interprets dreams
  • Made 2nd to pharoah
  • Saves Egypt
  • Saves his family
  • Forgives his family
  • Starts a new life
  • Gives his family a new life

Genesis 41: 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Discussion

  • What stages did Joseph go through in God’s crucible of leadership before he was ready to be the second most powerful person in the world?
  • What lessons do we learn from Joseph’s life?

Joseph in God’s Crucible

In tough times:

  • Perseverance through trials
  • Patience in stagnation
  • Purity in everything
  • Presence of God in everything
  • Pride cleansed

Joseph in God’s Crucible

In good times Joseph:

  • Forgot: Genesis 41:51

“It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.“

  • Fruitful: Genesis 41:52

“It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.

  • Forgave: Genesis 50:20

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

Role Play (for youth)

Enact scenarios of Joseph in today’s scenario. What are various cultural traps a youngster can fall into and how to avoid them.

References

1. Dr. Ron Charles

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