WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 28, 2023
TOPIC: EIGHT ATTRIBUTES OF JOSEPH THE DREAMER (1)
BY T. O. BANSO
“And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house” (Genesis 47:14 New King James Version).
The brothers of Joseph, who were the sons of Israel (Jacob), described him as a “dreamer”. They didn’t say that to praise him but to ridicule him because of the two dreams he had and shared with them and their father, for which they hated him. “Then they said to one another, ‘Look, this dreamer is coming!’” (Genesis 37:19 New King James Version).
I use the phrase “Joseph the dreamer” in the title of this message to differentiate the Joseph I am talking about from the other people in the Bible named Joseph. Joseph was not just a dreamer but later became a dream interpreter. He interpreted the dreams of the two officers of Pharaoh in prison, the chief butler and the chief baker, and Pharaoh’s dreams.
While dreaming and interpreting dreams were gifts that God gave Joseph and announced him to the world, Joseph developed some attributes which you also should cultivate. Many people like the fact that God was with Joseph, as the Bible says in Genesis 39:3. This scripture says that his master saw that the LORD was with him and prospered all the things that he did in the house of his master.
Also, when he was sent to the prison, the Bible says the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Genesis 39:21). Many people want the Lord to be with them as He was with Joseph. Also, Genesis 39:23 says the keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
Indeed, the Lord was with Joseph but we should not focus on that alone and not look at how Joseph lived his life. What are the attributes he cultivated that we could emulate? Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph because he was handsome and the Bible says she lusted after him and pressured him to sleep with her (Genesis 39:6-12). This is wrong. Joseph had other qualities, which anyone could cherish and emulate, not just being attracted to him because of his handsomeness. This message is to encourage you to develop the attributes Joseph cultivated.
1. He was God-fearing. As noted earlier, the Bible says multiple times that the LORD was with Joseph. Psalm 147:11a says the Lord delights or takes pleasure in those who fear him. Joseph feared the LORD. No wonder the LORD was with him. We see the fear of God in Joseph when Potiphar’s wife pressured him to sleep with her and he refused (Genesis 39:7-12).
Joseph told her, “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9 New King James Version). You need the fear of God in your life if you are not going to yield to evil. Proverbs 16:6b says through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7 New King James Version).
Joseph fled from evil because he was God-fearing. “So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside” (Genesis 39:9-12 New King James Version).
Before revealing his identity to his brothers, Joseph told them in Genesis 42:18 that he was a God-fearing man. The Bible also describes other Bible characters as God-fearing. Nehemiah referred to Hananiah as a more faithful and God-fearing man than many (Nehemiah 7:2). He said this regarding the charge over Jerusalem which he gave his brother, Hanani, and Hananiah, the leader of the citadel. Be God-fearing.
Furthermore, the Bible says the Hebrew midwives in Egypt were God-fearing and God blessed them (Exodus 1:20). They feared God and didn’t obey Pharaoh’s command to kill the newborn Hebrew boys (verse 17). Also, Cornelius the centurion was, among other things, a God-fearing man (Acts 10:22).
Be a God-fearing person – reverence Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7a; 9:10a; 1:7). Also, the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:28). Fear God. It has great benefits. The fear of the Lord lengthens the number of days, but the years of wicked people are shortened (Proverbs 10:27). The fear of the Lord leads to life (Proverbs 19:23). It is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27a). People who lack the fear of God are capable of any kind of evil.
2. He was well-behaved. Joseph was well-behaved and didn’t allow himself to be influenced by the negative behaviour of his brothers. On one occasion, Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father as the Bible says in Genesis 37:2. Obviously, they wouldn’t like it. Joseph didn’t join his brothers to do the bad things they were doing.
The Bible says you shall not follow a crowd to do evil (Exodus 23:2a). Dare to be different as Joseph was. Bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). Don’t join a bad company and don’t let the company you find yourself, which you may not have control over such as family, classroom, or office, corrupt your character. Joseph didn’t allow his character to be corrupted by his older half-brothers.
Let your character be shaped by the word of God. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
3. He was responsible and honest. Genesis 37:3 says that Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age and made him a tunic of many colours. One would have thought that because of this, Joseph would become a spoilt child. But that was not the case. Joseph was a responsible child. He didn’t allow his father’s love to go to his head or make him misbehave.
In Genesis 37:2a, the Bible says that Joseph, who was seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. Joseph joined his brothers in the family business even though his father loved him and made a tunic of many colours for him.
In verses 13-14, he didn’t go out with his brothers who went to feed the flock in Shechem but when his father called him to send him to see if it was well with his brothers and the flocks and bring back word to him, he accepted the responsibility. He went. He didn’t ask his father to send any of his servants! Joseph was a responsible person.
The Bible also shows us Joseph’s sense of responsibility and honesty in the management of the food storage programme in Egypt, which he advised Pharaoh to implement after interpreting to him Pharaoh’s dreams of the seven years of abundance and the seven years of famine. The programme was very successful because of Joseph’s sense of responsibility and honesty. Consequently, the world was saved from dying of hunger during the famine, as all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands (Genesis 41:57).
Genesis 47:14 tells us about his honesty: “And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house” (New King James Version). In the world today, some people would have abused their office and used it to corruptly enrich themselves. But Joseph was different. He was responsible and honest. Emulate him.
I will stop here and continue this message tomorrow.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: In the name of Jesus, I shall not be wise in my eyes but fear the Lord and depart from evil. I shall not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I shall not follow a crowd to do evil. Holy Spirit, help me to be responsible and honest everywhere I am.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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