A significant portion of Genesis is devoted to the life of Joseph. It the story of family, government, investment and prosperity in a down economy, relationships, discretion and everything else that life presents today. It is no wonder that God lays out in the very first book a great example of life at its fullest. The greatest lesson of all is Joseph’s life with God. He is in a sense a prototype of Jesus Christ. We can learn much from studying the lives of the men and women that God highlights in the Bible. They show us each individually pieces of what the ultimate life of Christ embodied.
Joseph’s life was by no means easy, but it was full of success. Most everyone knows the story of how his brothers threw him in a pit and he was captured and taken to Egypt and ended up at the right hand of Pharoah to handle all his business (prototype alert – who is at the right hand of God?). Pharoah was not a right-winged Israelite, but he could recognize that the spirit of God worked in Joseph when Joseph’s brother did not. Imagine that!
Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
Joseph was good at what he did and the whole country of Egypt thrived even when the the world was in famine. Joseph respected and listened to God. It was more than just obedience, it was love, respect and thankfulness for all God can do. I imagine Joseph had great human qualities but it was God that was the wind in his sails. He was human just like us. He experienced hurt and injustice throughout his life. In forgiving his brothers, he listened to God so as to bring about change, restoration and help for them.
Forgiveness can be slow. It can take time, not because God is dragging His feet, but because the humans involved may be slow in believing. God can work at lightening fast speed if we let Him. Joseph wanted his family restored immediately but it became a developing story because of human lack of understanding and receptivity. So he trusted God to help him with the timing. God will do that for us too when we rely on his wisdom and grace. Sometimes God has to teach us to move on in some cases for our own well-being. Regardless, God has our best interests at heart.
Egypt got the benefits of God because Joseph obeyed God. Pharoah listened to Joseph. He realized it so much so that he acted on what he recognized and respected Joseph and the God that he represented. God desires the best for everyone including Pharoah and the Egyptians. Today everyone can have the spirit of God residing in his own heart because of what God provided through Jesus Christ. That is amazing! We are coated with amazing technicolor spiritually as we move through life and its ups and downs. As we respect God and as we recognize the work of His son, Jesus Christ, we realize the spiritual side of life down to the smallest details through the three ‘R’s’ of the divine life: recognizing, realizing and respecting.