Summary: Joseph was a peanut shell in Yankee Stadium, and that is the level of notice he would have gotten in history from that point on. But God gave him the ability to interpret dreams, and he impressed the Pharaoh. He was instantly exalted to the highest level of power in the powerful nation of Egypt.
Grace Kelly, the American actress, married into royalty when she became
the wife of Prince Rainier of Monaco. This became world wide news back in
1956 as an American girl became Princess Grace. But it was far from being a
rags to riches story, for Grace grew up in wealth and luxury. Her father was a
multimillionaire, and she made her own fortune of many millions in 11 films.
She just got a title that money could not buy, and a 200 room pink palace. It is
hard to imagine that she would have suffered a great deal had the prince never
But the story of Joseph is truly a rags to riches story, and one far more
important to the people of the world in that day. Joseph was less than a
nobody. He was a criminal locked away in prison. He was innocent, but never
the less a man of no power in that culture. The slave had more power than he
did, and more choice of self-determination. Apart from the grace and
providence of God Joseph was a peanut shell in Yankee Stadium, and that is
the level of notice he would have gotten in history from that point on. But God
gave him the ability to interpret dreams, and he impressed the Pharaoh. He
was instantly exalted to the highest level of power in the powerful nation of
He not only had instant power, but he had an instant marriage that made
him a part of the inner circle of the culture. Pharaoh gave him a wife named
Asenath who was a daughter of a priest. The priest were the power behind the
Pharaoh, and they usually controlled him. So here was a common criminal
who went from the prison to the palace in an hour, and from being of no
influence to being the number one man of influence in the country. Not a bad
afternoon for an ex-con. The only story in history more marvelous is the
raising of a crucified criminal to the right hand of God to reign forever.
The one thing that is conspicuous by its absence is resistance on the part of
Joseph. He did not hem and haw, and ask for one more night in the dungeon
to think it over and pray about it. He did not come up with the lame excuse of
Moses or Jeremiah. He did not say, "I'm not qualified for the job, or I'm not a
good communicator." Pharaoh made him an instant national authority. He
put his own ring on him, a royal robe, and a gold chain around his neck. Then
he made him an instant celebrity. He took him for a royal ride in his chariot,
and let the people of the land know who was in charge. Do you detect a peep
of resistance? Even when he is given a wife as a fringe benefit of the job, he
does not say, "No thanks, I'll get my own bride." He has been in prison for 3
years, and no doubt felt this was as good a time as any to give up the single life
and settle down. On a prisoner's salary it would have been tough to support a
girl like Aseneth, who was accustomed to luxury. But now he is the number
man in the land. He can afford a high class wife, and so he takes her and they
have a happy fruitful marriage.
In our culture you have to feel in love to get married. In the Bible world
you had to choose to love, and their marriages based on the will were superior
to ours based on the emotions. The will is more stable than the feelings.
Joseph, no doubt, developed feelings for Aseneth, but their relationship was
based on the will at first.
Joseph was one of those one in a billion type men who was able to please
everyone from his place of power. He pleased the Pharaoh, his wife, his
family, the people of Israel, the people of Egypt, and the people from all the
lands where the famine forced them to come to him for food. As far as the
record goes, Joseph had a 100% positive rating, and we want to look at some
of the reasons for this, and hopefully learn something to help us be more
pleasing to God and man as we labor for the Lord. The first thing we see is-
I. HE WAS A TERRIFIC SERVANT.
In verse 46 we read, "Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service
of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and Joseph went out from Pharaoh's presence and
traveled throughout Egypt." Joseph went right to work on the biggest project
of government planning for the future that we have in the Bible. Joseph was