Rev. E. Anderson
PRIMED AND TIMED FOR GREATNESS
Reading Genesis 37
One cannot fail to be impressed when the life, character and Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob is studied. Reading between the lines and the incidents that took place, it is obvious that he was divinely primed and timed by God in order to attain true greatness and to set up an example for all time for others to emulate.
From the earliest of days to their climax, he was an individual who was different and made great contribution to his generation because he knew what it was to have the hand of God upon his life and affairs. It was how he desired it and willingly consecrated and complied with all what was required of him by God. He allowed God to lead, inspire and work things out even when things were extremely difficult and dark at times to understand.
It is possible to trace how he was brought to the place of greatness and what things contributed in the process.
1/. HE WAS REARED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A GOD-FEARING FATHER – Genesis 30: 22-24; 37: 1-3
There is little doubt that this aged, spiritual patriarch had some worthy and noble inspiration to impart to this son that he loved. One of the reasons why he had a strong bond and affection for him must have been due to the spiritual attitude that this son had. He seemed to have a real bent towards God and the things of God, and possibly his best conversations were with this lad who had a real openness to spiritual reality. Jacob was able to prime him and set aspirations in his heart of a holy character.
2/. HE APPARENTLY SOUGHT TO LIVE THE KIND OF LIFE THAT PLEASED GOD – Genesis 37: 2
Although he maybe regrettably seemed to be a tale bearer it does reflect the fact that he was different to his brothers and there was a wholesome rectitude about his conduct. So early he is demonstrating the fact that he had a quality standard of behaviour that must have drawn the attention of heaven. There was a healthy motivation of being where he sensed he must be committed to righteousness – see John 8: 29.
3/. HE WAS THE RECIPIENT OF DIVINE REVELATION THAT WAS TO PREDICT TO HIS DESTINY – Genesis 37: 5-10
It must be recognised that it was God who gave him the two dreams in his youth and would suggest that the favour of God was upon him. There was something about him so early in life that commanded the attention of heaven. In his teens God decides to prime him with supernatural knowledge that was to have great bearing and influence upon his future. This somehow would never leave him but be a source of comfort, strength and expectancy.
4/. HE WAS READY TO ACCEPT HIS CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND SOUGHT TO UTILIZE HIS TIME AND TALENTS – Genesis 37: 18-36; 39: 1-6
He could easily have thought that things had gone off track when he finds himself a victim of incredible conditions. Suddenly he is a slave and finds himself in a slave market in Egypt. This was the opposite end to his dreams. They now appeared to turn into a nightmare but he does not allow his new surroundings to frustrate and make a failure of him and his destiny. He knuckles down and sets about his fresh situation with faith, wisdom and vigour and so rises to a place of prominence. The slave is primed and timed to govern an important home. He is learning the ropes of being a true and good administrator.
5/. HE WAS ABLE TO REACT RIGHTLY TO THE SEVERE TEMPTATION THAT WAS ASSAILED HIM – Genesis 37: 7-12
In the furnace of temptation, allurement and seduction he manages to express a strong, moral commitment both Godward and manward. He could have failed and fallen for the trap set for him but he was morally and spiritually primed to reject the overtures of a charming seductress. There was no way that he was going to forfeit his ethical rectitude and lose the favour and smile of God whatever the cost. He must have regretted that this should take place and that this woman would sell herself for some temporary lust. He was not taken in by her advances.
6/. HE TRULY SHOWED HIS CHARACTER WHEN DEMOTED AND MADE A PRISONER – Genesis 39: 13- -23
Instead of griping and groaning in prison over a lost position he sees a new role that he must give himself to. Rather than sulk and complain to God over his new, untoward and painful lot, He primes himself to make use of his time and talents in uncongenial circumstances. There is a job that can and ought to be done that would benefit others and help in the time at his disposal. Because of this, God’s favour is towards him and so is the keeper of the prison. Even in those hard conditions he is ready to serve the butler and baker. He is still up to spiritual exercise – Genesis 40.
7/. HE WAS DIVINELY PROVEN AND READY WHEN HIS MOMENT OF EXALTATION ARRIVED – Genesis 41
Although the time is seemingly protracted in prison it would seem he learns to await God’s timing – see Psalm 105: 17-22. The fact that he was spiritually in tune when Pharoah sent for him indicates that he had learned to rest in God. He did not know how events would turn in his favour but he must have known deep within his spirit that being in Egypt was no accident. What was essential? It was important to be toned up and prepared for the next step and stage. Later he was able to tell his brothers that it was God who had worked everything out – Genesis 45: 7, 8.
God knows how to plan and schedule all for those who He would promote and use to serve His purposes and have a heart towards Him. It can happily commence early in one’s life and be the inspiration throughout. The vital factor is o be committed to Him and whatever He has designed and being sure that ‘all things work together for good to those who love God’ – Romans 8: 28.