The Integrity of Joseph
Primary Purpose: The importance of being a person of integrity from the
example of Joseph
Joseph is one of several men in the Old Testament who learned to lean upon the Lord and grew in their faith despite terrible difficulties in their lives. He could have become bitter because his brothers sold him into slavery. He could have become lazy in his work because he had no means of promotion,
but he does not. He works while no one is watching. He is faithful to God when some would not blame him for backsliding. Joseph is a picture of faithfulness both to God and man in bleak circumstances. Despite all of his set backs you’ll notice one that does not desert him - the Lord v.2,21
1. God’s Presence doesn’t exempt Joseph from trials v.20 sold into
slavery by his brothers, then falsely accused and jailed because of adultery
that he did not seek. Joseph’s character is being molded by God’s Presence
and his faithfulness in his circumstances.
Engineers tell us that the only way that metal can safely be used is after
testing it. And it must exceed the testing requirements. Repeatedly. The
metal to be used must be pure. And in order for it to be purified, it must go through fire. It must be melted, and molded to fit the designers purpose.
Just as metal must be molded, purified, and tested; we have to be tested before God will use us for His purposes. This is what was happening to Joseph. He was being tested and purified that he might bring about an even greater work for God. He was
faithful at the smaller things and God was preparing him for more.
In his book ‘Eating The Elephant”, Thom Rainer tells of an interview that Billy Graham had with an interviewer. The interviewer was fascinated by
Rev Graham’s success and asked if he anticipated being given great rewards in heaven for the millions of lives he had impacted through his worldwide
ministry. Billy Graham said that he was not sure of the extent of his own rewards, God is the final judge, but he was certain that others would have greater rewards than he. He went on to say that there is a faithful elderly woman whom he
knows, who is right now on her kneeds praying for her little country church, her family and her nation. For nearly 80 years, the sweet lady has been
faithful to her Lord. She has been constantly praying, and reading the Bible daily. To Billy Graham, that lady and many others like her, will receive the greatest rewards in heaven.
At the close of the interview, Billy Graham siad these last words: “You see,we are not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful.”
Romans 5:3-5 tells us that suffering produces perseverance and that character. God is molding Joseph into the man he wants him to be, so that he
can fulfill God’s purpose for his life.
Gene Getz once said of God’s plan for Joseph that:
At age thirty, Joseph could never have handled this world-class task without an intensive and experience oriented course in management. It began in
Potiphar’s house, where he managed all of his affairs. It continued in prison where he was eventually responsible for all the prisoners. And thirteen years later, he was “put. . .in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” “God’s plan for Joseph was on schedule. His preparation was tailor-made for
the task God had for him. And because Joseph passed each test, learned from each experience, and learned to trust God more, he was ready when God opened the door of opportunity. He handled prestige and power without succumbing to pride. He persevered with patience and performed his duties faithfully and successfully. He was well prepared.”
2. Joseph walked in faithfulness to others v.8-9. Joseph is concerned about his master and offending him. Joseph was clearly a man who could be trusted
without his master being present.
There has recently been a new “reality” TV show from Fox Network called “Temptation Island” that is the subject of discussion these days.
Temptation Island is a series in which four unmarried couples travel to the Carribbean to test and explore the strength of their relationship. Once ont he island, the couples are introduced to eligible singles and then separated from their partners until the final day of their stay. The object for the couples is to see if they love each other enough to overcome temptation. The object for the singles is to see if they can tempt the couples to be unfaithful. The object for Fox TV is to make a lot of money off people who watch trash on
television. It worked apparently since 16 million people tuned in to watch the debut of the show.
The object of the Christians is also to remain faithful. And like the contestants, temptations will come our way to yield to self, to compromise, to give in, to give up. The Christian life is a love relationship with the Lord.
The devil seeks to come in and tempt us to compromise that relationship. He comes at times of weakness. He tries to get us to give in to anything but to
Even Potiphar had noticed that the Lord was with Joseph 39:3. He was faithful to his work when his boss was absent. This is what Colossians 3:23
tells us to do in our work. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,as working for the Lord, not for men.
3. Joseph walked in faithfulness to God v.9-10. This wasn’t a one time temptation. She tempted him day by day v.10. Yet, Joseph recognized that his sin would be against God, as well as Potiphar. So, Joseph runs from sin. This is what James 4:7 tells us to do also. It says to resist the devil and he will flee from you.