Today, I present Part 2 of my message in Glory House, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dallas, US. Please, read on: Joseph was hated and sold into slavery by his brethren because of his righteousness. He refused to join them in the evil things they were doing when they were rearing their father’s cattle. They also envied him because of his dreams, which showed them that he would rule over them one day. They did not know that by selling him, they were helping in fulfilling his dreams. All things, the good, the bad and ugly, will ever work together for the good of the children of God.
With the coat of Joseph in the hand of Potiphar’s wife as an exhibit, it was easy for anybody to believe her that he had wanted to rape her but she resisted him. She might have dramatized how she held him and he overpowered her when she was shouting and ran away. People believed her, including her husband, and Joseph was jailed. God was watching. In various prisons all over the world, we can find innocent people serving because of spurious charges made against them. Some people have passed through the gallows, all over world, because of trumped-up charges made against them. May we never conclude that an ex-convict must be a bad man. We should also be praying for our judiciary.
In jail, Joseph’s intimidating CV was not, however, tampered with, “But the Lord was with Joseph” – Gen 39: 21. God with him in jail? Yes, and everywhere His children are, as He has promised us. In jail, Joseph, my namesake, was not angry with God. Some people, under his circumstance, might even stop attending church services, and church programmes. Not Joseph! In jail, he continued with his Ministry.
It is possible for someone to travel to the US, leaving behind the Ministry God has given him. It is possible for someone to go to work or to his place of business, while leaving his Ministry at home. The head of the prison, like Potiphar, noticed that God was with Joseph and put him in charge of the prisoners. Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker were later jailed and he was also to be in charge of them. That was fruitfulness, and a devoted leader, he noticed one morning that the two officers were sad. He confronted them. Should a prisoner really be happy? It is only a happy man that can know a sad person, lending credence that Joseph accepted his suffering!
Suffering for righteousness is not strange to believers but even in it, God does not abandon us. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, played a fast game on the three Hebrew men, who refused to worship his god. He questioned them whether the allegation was true and gave them another opportunity to do so in his presence, but if they refused, they would be executed immediately. “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” He asked them – Dan. 3:15. In such a circumstance of threat and intimidation, some people might compromise their faith by worshiping his god.
Our brethren told him that the issue did not require fasting and prayer nor consultations among themselves, that they would not worship his god and that the Living God would deliver them out of his hand. If, however, He chooses not to do so, since He is Sovereign, that they would still serve Him – Dan. 16-18. This is Christianity at its best. Uncle Job understood it, when he said, ”Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” Job 13:15. The king, in anger, ordered that they should be thrown into a fiery burning furnace. God rescued them. It could not have mattered, if He did not.
To teach the king a lesson, God made him, not to send any of his officers to supervise the burning of the three Hebrew children, but to go there himself. When Joseph joined the household of Potiphar, Potiphar saw that God was with him. God caused Nebuchadnezzar to see that God! He confessed that he saw our three brethren and the Fourth Man, Who he described as the Son of God, and He is indeed, loose and walking around! He then passed a decree that nobody should molest our brethren for worshipping their God as He is the only God that could deliver. He promoted them.
Trusting Joseph because of the grace of God they had seen in him, the two prisoners told him their dreams. He gave them the interpretations. It is exciting to notice that his ministry of dreaming, which started in his father’s house, had grown to interpreting dreams. This is fruitfulness! He told the chief butler that he would be restored to his position and pleaded with him to remember him, when it would happen. He told the chief baker that he would be hanged.
One wonders why the chief baker did not tell Pastor Joseph to intercede for him. That was also what happened to Rev. Eli. Confronting with the evil deeds of his two sons, which he ignored, God through young Samuel expressed His anger. Eli, instead of being remorseful and pleading for forgiveness, said, “It is the Lord, let Him do what seemed Him good,” 1 Sam 3:18. Imagine! Not long after, the Philistines waged war against Israel and killed 34,000 people. Eli and his two sons were also victims. The Philistines took the Ark of God. Hearing the tragedies, his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, who was pregnant, fell into labour. She died after delivery. ‘Ichabod’, she named her son, meaning that the glory of God had left Israel. May it not be your portion!
As we are convicted of wrongdoing by God through His Word from time to time, we should never ignore the opportunity, which is at our disposal, to seek for His forgiveness. Pride or what people may say about us, has often caused some of us not to act or react decisively to their own detriment. May nothing hinder us from seeking for other people’s intervention when necessary. May we not miss the last opportunity which God provides us at any point of time.
The interpretations of Joseph to the dreams of his two prison inmates, happened exactly as he had told them. The chief baker was hanged. The chief butler was restored to his position, but he forgot his friend he left in prison. He forgot to carry his message to Pharaoh.
Uncle Joseph, however, might have forgotten that all through his life, his helper had always been God, and not man. Man may fail us, even from our family, our closest friend, but God does not.
May we do like David, who said, “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and the earth,” Psalm 121:1 &2. Man may fail us but God does not.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]