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Summary: The third message in the series based on the six pillars of ‘Character Counts!’

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Today is the third message in the series based on the six pillars of ‘Character Counts!’

Two weeks ago, we started with the first pillar: trustworthiness and, as we looked at the Wise Men, we were informed that:

(Slide 1) To Be Trustworthy is to be reliable-to do what you say you’ll do and have the courage to do the right thing

(Slide 2) Last week, we stopped at the second pillar, respect and spent some time with Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

What was the main point last week about respect? (Refer to the slide as necessary.)

(Slide 3) What was the point I made last week about respect with this picture? (What is this picture of?)

(Looking for: respect requires us to look deeper at a person and see them as one love by God just as much as we are loved by God. It is a picture of an older and younger women.)

(Slide 4) Today we are stopping to examine the pillar called Responsibility and while Daniel’s story has much to tell us about responsibility, we are going to go spend time with another Old Testament character – Joseph.

Our text for this morning is Genesis 41:33-44 and before we read it let me briefly sketch Joseph’s life to this point to provide the setting for our text and how it illustrates responsibility.

Joseph was one of twelve brothers. In fact, he was the youngest. How many here this morning are the youngest in their family?

Joseph had a dream that he believed indicated that his older brothers would one day bow down to him. It made them mad, very mad.

He also was given a beautiful coat of many colors by his father. This also made his other brothers very, very, angry.

One day, the brothers went on a trip and Jacob, Joseph’s father, sent him to find out how they were doing. They saw him coming and decided to get rid of Joseph because they could not stand him. So, they threw him in a pit and left him to die. However, they started feeling guilty, saw a group of traders coming, and decided to sell him to them.

Joseph eventually ends up in Egypt and in the house of captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the Egyptian ruler. Well, things deteriorate because Joseph refused to do what was wrong with another man’s wife, and ends up in jail accused of something he did not do.

While there, he meets two of Pharaoh’s servants who had been jailed because they had displeased Pharaoh. He successfully interprets their dreams but is forgotten by the one who lives.

However, two years later, Pharaoh has a dream and none of his dream interpreters could interpret it. Finally, the one who had been in jail with Joseph, remembered that Joseph had successfully interpreted his dream.

Joseph is sent for and successfully interprets Pharaoh’s dream. It is a dream about a coming record harvest followed by a terrible draught.

When asked about how to best handle this situation Joseph makes a suggestion and this is where we pick up the story in our text:

“My suggestion is that you find the wisest man in Egypt and put him in charge of a nationwide program. Let Pharaoh appoint officials over the land, and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. Have them gather all the food and grain of these good years into the royal storehouses, and store it away so there will be food in the cities.

That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come. Otherwise disaster will surely strike the land, and all the people will die.”

Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his advisers.

As they discussed who should be appointed for the job, Pharaoh said, “Who could do it better than Joseph? For he is a man who is obviously filled with the spirit of God.” Turning to Joseph, Pharaoh said, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land! I hereby appoint you to direct this project. You will manage my household and organize all my people. Only I will have a rank higher than yours.”

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh placed his own signet ring on Joseph’s finger as a symbol of his authority. He dressed him in beautiful clothing and placed the royal gold chain about his neck. Pharaoh also gave Joseph the chariot of his second-in-command, and wherever he went the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Joseph was put in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am the king, but no one will move a hand or a foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”

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