February 20, 2017

Genesis 41:53-54 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said.

Nothing cements the authority of a prophet like having their words come true! Joseph ascended to the office of Prime Minister at 30, and obviously did an excellent job. Now at 37, with the other half of the prophecy coming to pass, he doubtless had the whole country in the palm of his hand, so to speak. It is significant to me that despite that position he obviously wasn’t greedy. We have no record of any wives but the one, much less concubines and the like, which were very common for anyone in his position. The thing is, whether he was in a prison or in a palace, his focus was on God. That is what we most need to learn from Joseph. We allow circumstances, either good or bad, to take our attention from God, and we suffer as a result, either in the short term or the long. Joseph’s faithfulness in the hard times prepared him to be faithful in the abundant times, but that isn’t always the case. It is always very sad to see people who seem very pious when poor, but when money starts coming in they act like they think they deserve it, rather than recognizing the grace of God. That shows that their “piety” when poor was ultimately self-centered, and that doesn’t impress God at all.

I’ve never “hit it big,” so to speak, but I’ve had times of comparative abundance, and I’ve had times when funds were tight indeed. God has been faithful through it all! I need to remember that my treasure is indeed in heaven, and that’s better than winning the biggest lottery on earth. Just as Joseph was given a job and the opportunity to do it, I need to be faithful at the tasks the Lord sets before me. My faithfulness is my responsibility; the results are His. I am not to look at others and resent that they seem to get a bigger slice of the pie than I do, or gloat if I seem to get more than they do. I am to focus on God, His kingdom and His righteousness, and seek to draw closer to Him in grateful obedience. Everything else is temporal, and not worth the time or energy to be concerned about it.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Every once in a while I think I’d like to be “tested with abundance,” but that’s Your business. You have certainly proved Yourself faithful in every sort of circumstance. Help me respond fully to Your faithfulness by being faithful myself, so that all of Your plans and purposes may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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