Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Reward of Obedience Part III

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Part III

The Reward of Obedience


Jacob, the son of Isaac, waited a long time to take a wife, and because of a deception, ended up with four wives. These all had children but his favourite wife, Rachel, was the last to have children. She had two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. She died having Benjamin. Poor Jacob, getting old and caring for two young boys without a mother. Joseph, the older one, became Jacob's favourite. He was smart and obedient. When Joseph was in his teens, Jacob made him a coat of many colours, a coat that was usually worn by kings children. It showed favouritism, which created jealousy and hatred toward Joseph.

Jacob had large flocks of sheep and one of these was looked after by his 10 older boys. They would move long distances from the home ranch in search of pasture. When Joseph was 17 Jacob sent him to see how his brothers and sheep were faring. Joseph finally found them for they had moved a long way. When they saw Joseph one said, 'let's kill him, soak his nice coat in goats blood and tell dad some wild beast did it.' They changed their mind when they saw a caravan of traders coming and said, 'lets sell him and let somebody else deal with him.'

The brothers sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver to the traders on their way to Egypt. Joseph pleaded and cried but of no use. On his way Joseph pledged to be true to his father's God. In Egypt he was sold on the slave market to a wealthy land owner, Potiphar, who was also captain of the king's guard. Joseph was a good slave and worker. He was kind and courteous and God was with him. It was not long until Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph, and Joseph had, no doubt, told Potiphar about the God of Heaven whom he served. He was given responsibilities and finally, because of his faithfulness to Potiphar and to God, Joseph became the general manager of the huge estate. He was also made the business manger and did all the buying and selling.

Satan was not happy with Joseph's faithfulness and witnessing for God. This was when the trouble came. The office was in the house and as Joseph came and went in to do the business, Potiphar's wife became interested in the well built, handsome, young Hebrew. She asked him to bed with her. He refused and said, 'how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' He knew this was one of the rules of God and though Joseph was alone, where none of his family would know, he knew that God knew and Joseph saw how God was blessing him, so Joseph refused to sin. Joseph probably knew he was in trouble. He knew the right of a slave was the same as a horse and that this woman could get him into trouble one way or another, and she did. She told her husband that Joseph had tried to force her to bed when Joseph came in to do the business of the estate.

Potiphar could have had him killed but God had other plans. Instead, Joseph was put in prison. We may ask, “Does obedience pay?” Joseph, a slave and in prison, his life probably looked rather harsh but he still remained true to God and soon saw God working. Joseph rose in prison from an ordinary prisoner to a prisoner in charge of the other prisoners. Why had Joseph, in all these years with Potiphar, now finding himself in jail, not run and gone back to his family when he had the chance?...........Joseph knew God had a plan for him, as God does for each and every person, and he was going to let God work out His plan. Also in prison two of the kings servants each had a dream. They were sent to Joseph and he interpreted their dreams. They came out as he had said. (the one got his job back, the other was hanged)

Two years later Pharaoh had a dream: 7 fat cows were eaten by 7 very thin cows, also 7 good ears of corn eaten by 7 very thin ears. Pharaoh sent for his wise men, but they had no idea what the dreams meant. The restored servant remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh, who immediately sent for Joseph. (Genesis 41:14) In prison, Joseph shaved, changed clothes and went in before Pharaoh. He heard the dream and told Pharaoh that God was sending him a message. Here God, the Ruler of Heaven, was introduced to the king and told him what the dreams meant. Both dreams meant the same: 7 exceptionally good crop years followed by 7 years of famine.

Joseph suggested to Pharaoh to store up all the surplus grain in the first 7 years to have for the 7 famine years. Joseph does not say, 'give me the job.' But Pharaoh and his advisors met and asked, 'where can we find a man like this in whom is the spirit of God?' Joseph was given the job as Head of Economy in the greatest country of that time. One day Joseph was in prison, the next he was running the country. Does it pay to be true to God? No matter how things may look! God had a plan, a place and NOW a man to fulfill His plan to show Him(God) off to the world.


Next week: Joseph in Egypt