WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 29, 2023
TOPIC: EIGHT ATTRIBUTES OF JOSEPH THE DREAMER (2)
BY T. O. BANSO
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 New King James Version).
Yesterday, I discussed three attributes of Joseph the dreamer namely: he was God-fearing, he was well-behaved, and he was responsible and honest. As I said, I used the phrase “Joseph the dreamer” to differentiate him from other people in the Bible named Joseph. His half brothers, the sons of Israel (Jacob), referred to him as a dreamer to ridicule him but indeed he was a dreamer, and more than that, he was an interpreter of dreams and one who eventually saved the world from hunger in Egypt.
I want to share with you two more attributes of Joseph, which you should emulate.
Two more attributes of Joseph
4. He was not revengeful. Joseph did not pay back his brothers in their own coin. Although they hated him, he showed them love. Genesis 37:4-5 says, “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more” (New King James Version).
Also, verse 8 adds, “And his brothers said to him, ‘Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?’ So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words” (New King James Version). Joseph was old enough at this time to differentiate between love and hatred.
Knowing that his brothers hated him and hated him even more, Joseph had a good reason to convince his father not to send him on the errand he sent him to his brothers. After all, his father loved him. Why should Joseph be bothered about the welfare of those who didn’t love him? But Joseph agreed to go on the errand. He was not revengeful. The errand eventually turned out to be a dangerous journey that changed the course of his life completely because his brothers first conspired to kill him and threw him into a pit. Thereafter, they brought him out and sold him to the slave traders.
Joseph was not revengeful. After he had become Prime Minister in Egypt, he forgave his brothers for what they made him suffer. They thought with the death of their father, he would seek revenge. “So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, ‘Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.’ And Joseph wept when they spoke to him” (Genesis 50:16-17 New King James Version). Joseph’s brother fell down before his face and told him they were his servants.
Joseph replied to them thus: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” (verses 19-21a New King James Version). Did you see his attitude toward his brothers? Verse 21 ends by saying Joseph comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Joseph didn’t seek revenge.
Learn from him. Repay no one evil for evil (Romans 12:17a). Proverbs 20:22 says, “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; wait for the LORD, and He will save you’” (New King James Version). Learn to forgive. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 says, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (New King James Version).
Leave vengeance to God. He will do a better job than you! He says it is His to avenge and He will repay (Deuteronomy 32:35a). “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18 New King James Version). Joseph was forgiving, not revengeful. Emulate him.
5. He was caring. Because Joseph was caring, he was able to find out what was wrong with the two officers of Pharaoh, the chief butler and the chief baker of the king of Egypt, who had offended him and were put in prison at the time Joseph was also in prison. The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them.
Genesis 40:5-7 says, “Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, ‘Why do you look so sad today?’” (New King James Version).
If Joseph had not been caring, he wouldn’t have noticed that they were sad. When they told him their dreams, he interpreted them. The butler’s dream was favourable. Within three days Pharaoh would restore the chief butler to his place while the baker’s dream was unfavourable. Within three days Pharaoh would hang him. It happened just as Joseph had said. Joseph was caring.
Later Pharaoh dreamt and he was troubled. None of the magicians of Egypt and its wise men could interpret his dreams. It was the chief baker whom Joseph interpreted his dream that mentioned him to Pharaoh, which eventually led to his release from prison and appointment as Prime Minister in Egypt. Be caring. It’s a seed you are sowing and you will reap it at the right time.
After Joseph had disclosed his identity to his brothers, he told them to relocate to Egypt with the promise to take care of them throughout the remaining period of the famine. “Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine’” (Genesis 45:9-11 New King James Version). Joseph was caring.
Before his brothers left to go and report to their father and bring him to Egypt, Joseph gave them gifts and gifts for their father in addition to the wagons provided by Pharaoh for their transportation of Israel’s entire family to Egypt (Genesis 45:21-23). Joseph was caring.
After settling them in Goshen following their relocation to Egypt, Joseph provided his father and his brothers and his entire father’s household with food, according to the number of their children (Genesis 47:12). His family enjoyed the benefits of his position in Egypt. He cared for them. Be caring as Joseph was. 1 John 3:18 says, “My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring” (New Century Version).
In Jude 12, the Bible describes the false teachers as caring only for themselves. The shepherds of Israel were also guilty of caring for themselves only. Ezekiel 34:2 says, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?’” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “who feed themselves.” The chapter highlighted the other sins of the shepherds of Israel, not caring for the flocks, the Israelites. God was not pleased with them and pronounced His judgment on them. Be caring; don’t care for yourself alone.
Again, I will stop here today and conclude the message in tomorrow’s devotional. Emulate the attributes of Joseph.
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: I shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against anyone. I shall not seek revenge but leave vengeance to God. Holy Spirit, help me to care for others and not myself alone. I shall love people not only with words and talk but by my actions and true caring in Jesus’ name.
(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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