WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 30, 2023
TOPIC: EIGHT ATTRIBUTES OF JOSEPH THE DREAMER (3)
BY T. O. BANSO
“By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22 New King James Version).
So far, I have discussed five attributes of Joseph the dreamer: he was God-fearing, he was well-behaved, he was responsible and honest, he was not revengeful, and he was caring. In this devotional today, I will conclude this message by sharing three more attributes of Joseph.
Three more attributes
6. He knew how to manage his relationship with his superiors. Joseph didn’t take Pharaoh for granted just because he had empowered him by making him his second-in-command. “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, ‘Bow the knee’ So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt’” (Genesis 41:41-44 New King James Version). But Joseph didn’t abuse his office. He didn’t misuse the enormous power Pharaoh gave him.
For example, he didn’t take Pharaoh for granted when his father and brothers relocated to Egypt with Pharaoh having provided the wagons or carts to convey them (Genesis 45:19). He gave Pharaoh his due honour by going to inform him officially of their arrival and sought approval for them to settle in Goshen (Genesis 46:31-34; 47:1-2). Moreover, he brought not only his brothers but also his father to see Pharaoh (verse 7). Those who don’t know how to manage relationships, especially with their superiors, wouldn’t have done that. Familiarity breeds contempt.
After his father’s death and he needed to take him down to Canaan for burial, he also didn’t take Pharaoh for granted just because he had helped him to solve a problem and was in charge of the food programme. Joseph sent Pharaoh’s adviser to him to plead for permission though Joseph was the next to him in power (Genesis 50:4-6). Talent or brilliance is not enough. You must know how to relate with your superiors. Because Joseph didn’t allow power to go to his head and gave Pharaoh his due honour, all Pharaoh’s officials, senior members of his household and senior officers of Egypt accompanied him to bury his father (Genesis 50:7). Joseph knew how to manage his relationship with Pharaoh.
Even in Potiphar’s house, he related well with his boss. Joseph was conferred with much power. “So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance” (Genesis 39:5-6 New King James Version). Joseph didn’t abuse this power.
In verses 8-9, the Bible tells us how he didn’t exceed the limit of his power; he refused to sleep with the wife of Potiphar, his master. Although she later lied against him and he was unjustly put in prison, God later vindicated him and promoted him to the number two position in Egypt. Don’t become too familiar with your superiors or disrespectful. Manage your relationships well, especially the relationships with your superiors, by giving them the honour due to them.
7. He was a promise keeper. Joseph’s father instructed his children to carry his corpse to Canaan for burial (Genesis 49:28-32). But earlier, he had made Joseph swear that he would do so (Genesis 47:29-31). He didn’t make the other children swear to an oath. Israel didn’t want his corpse to be buried in Egypt. God had promised to bring him back to Canaan although he would die in Egypt. “I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes” (Genesis 46:4 New Living Translation). Joseph kept his promise to his father. He took his corpse to Canaan and buried him at the family burial ground.
Be a promise-keeper, not a promise-breaker. Keep your word. Proverbs 25:14 says, “A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain” (New Living Translation). Don’t make promises you will not fulfil, including vows to God (Deuteronomy 23:21-23; Ecclesiastes 5:4-7; Numbers 30:2; Proverbs 20:25).
8. He was a man of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Joseph, like his father, had faith in the fulfilment of God’s promise to give the land of Canaan to the Israelites. He had faith in the descendants of Jacob leaving Egypt one day and wanted to be part of the exodus after his death. Therefore, he made his children swear an oath not to leave his bones behind.
Genesis 50:24-25 says, “And Joseph said to his brethren, ‘I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’ Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here’” (New King James Version).
In Exodus 13:19, Moses took the bones of Joseph with him as the Israelites departed Egypt according to the solemn oath Joseph had placed the children of Israel under. Thus, Joseph’s word came to pass. His faith worked! Joseph was a man of faith according to Hebrews 11:22: “By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones” (New King James Version).
Emulate Joseph’s faith. Be a man of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). And faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17b; Galatians 3:11b; Hebrews 10:38a). Also, Habakkuk 2:4b says the just shall live by his faith.
Conclusion: You have read in this message, eight attributes of Joseph. Which ones are lacking in your life? Or which ones do you think you should work on yourself to cultivate? All the attributes are possible to develop as you depend on the Holy Spirit. Paul said he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13). You can too.
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: Father, I receive wisdom to manage my relationships with my superiors well. I shall not become too familiar with them or be disrespectful. Holy Spirit, help me to be a promise-keeper, not a promise-breaker. I shall be a person of faith and live by faith 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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