Summary: Many times, we get hurt and we wanted to take revenge. But God reminds us through the story of Joseph that we have been placed by God in that position of authority for a greater purpose and that we must always manifest a humble heart.
THE TEST OF POWER AND AUTHORITY
Last week, we talked about the promotion of Joseph to the second highest in command of Egypt.
He had been lifted up from the dark dungeon of despair to the palace of great responsibility, authority and power.
It was a long process of waiting patiently and faithfully.
But during those years, he never lost sight of his faith and trust on God.
He never gave up.
That is why at the right time, God granted him the reality of his dream.
This is what we will discover as we study Genesis chapter 42.
We will find out his capability to be a good leader.
He is now in a position of power, prestige and authority.
There was famine all over the land.
It has created an international disaster.
People from the surrounding nations heard that Egypt had food.
Egypt had enough provision to survive the famine at that time.
And people from all over the land wanted to buy food from Egypt.
Joseph was the one in charge.
And one day, while Joseph was busy with his work, his brothers arrived to buy food.
Joseph at once recognized them.
These are the very same people who had thrown him into a pit to starve, while they ate their lunch.
He cried for help, but they refused to listen.
Can you imagine the thoughts that would go through the mind of Joseph at that moment?
This will be the greatest test in all his life.
Now that he is in a position of power and authority, he could have easily abused his power.
He could have easily squeezed and persecuted his brothers as a sign of his anger and revenge.
He could have effortlessly harassed them, oppress them and torture them.
But he did not do such wicked thing.
In fact, he had shown great competence, ability and skills in handling his position well.
You see, God is always testing each one of us.
He will test us on the way we handle and be in charge of a situation.
He will test us on the way we manage and supervise people.
He will test us on the way we run and maintain resources.
He will test us by giving us power and authority.
If we are not ready for such a position, we can wrongly and corrupt that power and authority.
Worst, we can become a dictators and it will be a big problem.
You see, power can corrupt.
Absolute power can corrupt absolutely.
God wants us to handle well our area of influence.
People who have been prepared by God executes their power and authority properly and correctly.
They do not destroy relationships but they identify mistakes and accurately adjust themselves to people.
Through the use of his power and authority, relationships can be made even stronger.
Good relationships after all especially in the family should be mended, improved and renewed.
It should not be left to rot and disintegrate.
This is what happened in the life of Joseph.
When he was in such position of power and saw his brothers, things began to happen for the better.
God's greatest desire is for us to have a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ.
Once we receive His forgiveness, then we are ready to fulfill the rest of His plan for our lives.
Our destiny will unfold as we obey the Holy Spirit.
There are several truths that we can learn from Joseph:
I. EVEN WHEN HE HAD GREAT AUTHORITY, JOSEPH RECOGNIZED HIS PURPOSE. Genesis 42:8-9 "8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
The verse says that Joseph saw his brothers purchasing food in Egypt.
Although he recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
Their identity reminded him of his unforgettable past.
His memories were awaken just a mere look at his brothers.
His emotion was provoked, arose and revived.
But the next verse also tells us that he remembered his dream about them.
The word "remember" means he recalled, he looked back and he recognized.
It means that Joseph saw that God had a purpose in placing him in this position of power and authority.
In the midst of the famine in the land, God will save his people.
God will use Joseph for that purpose.
And so, Joseph must protect, provide and preserve his family.
He must care for them and guard them from harm.
This was his first priority.
God gave him great power and prestige for this very purpose.
This purpose was much greater and much more significant than to seek revenge to his brothers or get even.