Genesis 39-41

Genesis 39-41

Joseph: There’s No Substitute for Integrity at Work

In our new series on The Ministry of the Market Place we have spent the past two Sundays laying the foundation for a biblical theology of Work.  Today we are going to turn from the general to the specific.  We are going to begin to examine some biblical biographies of individuals who understood the theology of work, and we hope to learn what it was in their lives that enabled them to live out that theology.  None of these individuals were priests or prophets in the professional sense of those terms.  Rather they were ordinary lay people but faithful in the market place to which God called them.  The first character I want us to look at is Joseph, whose life reflects the biblical truth that there is no substitute for integrity at work.  

Joseph is one of the great heroes in the Bible and one of only two or three major characters about whom no sin is recorded.  (This does not mean, of course, that they were sinless, but it does probably imply an unusual degree of righteous living).  This morning I am going to make the assumption that most of you are somewhat familiar with his life.  That will allow me to do just a brief biographical sketch and then concentrate on three particular incidents in his career.

Overview of the life of Joseph

Joseph was born about 1800 years before Christ, the second youngest of 12 sons of Jacob.  One of Jacob’s most damaging shortcomings was that he played favorites among his children, and Joseph was his preeminent favorite.  This created jealousy among the other sons, and eventually that jealousy led to a murder plot.  At the last minute one of the brothers talked the others into selling Joseph as a slave to a passing caravan instead of killing him, and they did so.  But they convinced their father Jacob that a wild animal had killed their brother.  Amazingly they maintained their secret for decades, but it was a secret only to man, not to God.

Meanwhile Joseph was taken by the caravan from his homeland of Palestine to Egypt, where he went on the auction block and was purchased as a slave by one of Pharaoh’s officials, a man named Potiphar.  After serving faithfully for some time, Joseph was framed by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison, where he languished for several years.  

Eventually, however, Joseph was released, and through a series of fortuitous events that could have been engineered only by God, this young Jewish man ended up being the Prime Minister of Egypt.  The way it happened is that God allowed Joseph to interpret a dream of Pharaoh’s accurately, a dream that seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of famine.  Pharaoh wisely accepted the truth of Joseph’s interpretation and even appointed him to organize a mass effort to store up food for the coming famine.  This may be the first and last time any nation has thought that far ahead and actually practiced delayed satisfaction on a national level.

This incident also leads to the amazing climax of Joseph’s story, for the famine not only affected Egypt, but the entire Middle East, including Palestine where the elderly Jacob heard that food was available in Egypt and sent ten of his sons to obtain some.  This led to the re-uniting of Joseph with his brothers and the relocation of the entire family, including Jacob, to the Nile Delta.  Over the next 400 years this one family grew into the nation known as the Israelites, which Moses led out of Egypt back to the homeland. 

There is much more we could say, of course, but as I already mentioned, I wish to focus most of our time this morning on three particular events in Joseph’s life that give us insight into how Joseph ministered effectively in the market place to which God called him.  Joseph’s first job in Egypt was as a slave.

Joseph as a slave in the house of Potiphar (Genesis 39)

The remarkable story of this period of Joseph’s life is shared in Genesis 39:1-6a:

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. 

What is obvious from this paragraph is that Joseph was extremely successful in his first job.  In a relatively short time he rose from being a lowly slave to being business manager over everything Potiphar owned.  We are clearly told the source of this amazing success–the Lord.  Four times in this paragraph the Lord is identified as the Mover behind all that happened.  However, I believe there is another reason for his success, unspoken because it is too obvious to be mentioned, and that is that Joseph was a hard worker and a man of absolute integrity.  He was honest, faithful, congenial, competent.

But Joseph had a problem–he was a hunk of a man!  This is a burden only a few are called upon to bear, but it can be a significant one.  It is clearly stated at the end of verse 6:  “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph.”  She not only took notice of him, she tried to seduce him, and not just once but “day after day.”  Joseph refused, not offering some lame excuse that might have encouraged further pursuit (like, “I can’t.  I’d like to, but it might cost me my job.”  Or, “Not now, maybe later.”).  Here’s what it says he did and said, as found in verses 8-10: 

But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

But Mrs. Potiphar wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, and one day when none of the household servants were around (no doubt by her design) she grabbed Joseph in an effort to seduce him.  He left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.  He must have known the danger that leaving his cloak in her hand would be to him in terms of damaging evidence, but he knew the even greater danger it would be to remain in her presence.  

There are two principal lessons I get from this chapter of Joseph’s life that apply to the market place to which God has called many of you.

1.  God can increase your influence as you serve diligently, faithfully, and with excellence in whatever job He places you.  Friends, it was no picnic to be a purchased slave in Egypt.  We would understand if Joseph had been bitter at his status and refused to do any more than the minimum; after all, no human being should own another human being, and certainly no one deserved to be betrayed by his own brothers.  Furthermore, Joseph had been the prince of an extended family that had been promised by God that they would have enormous success and influence (remember God’s promises to Joseph’s great-grandfather, Abraham, his grandfather Isaac, and his father Jacob) and would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore.  But here he is in a foreign country, totally isolated from his family, and serving as a slave!

But Joseph accepted the fact that his brothers were not in charge of his life–God was!  He was where he was ultimately because God placed him there, or at least allowed it.  So his job was to be submissive to God and make the best of it.  Some of you are in what appears to be a dead-end job.  You can’t stand the hours, your bosses are unfair, the work is demeaning, and you have lost all motivation to excel. Think again.  All those things may be true, but believe me, you’re not in as bad a situation as Joseph!  And God calls you to do your work as unto Him!  (Remember Ephesians 6:7:  “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”). If you do that, God can give you influence beyond your wildest imagination.  

We have a man in our church who has a job almost no one here would want–he’s a jailhouse worker in the Sedgwick County Jail.  The pay isn’t great, and it’s a thankless job in many ways.  But God has used Jim Conklin in some unique ways to touch lives.  Reese Day has been a house painter for many decades.  He has witnessed to hundreds of homeowners through the quality of his work, but he also was known as a man of integrity at the paint store.  I remember him telling about an incident where the manager took the Lord’s name in vain, then saw Reese and apologized.  It wasn’t because Reese had been preaching to him but because Reese showed through his life that he was a man of integrity. 

Our first lesson, then, is that God can increase your influence as you serve diligently, faithfully, and with excellence in whatever job He places you.

2.  There are unique moral temptations in any job, and God calls upon His people to resist those temptations to His glory and honor.  If anyone ever had a rational excuse for yielding to temptation, it was Joseph.  He didn’t ask to be sold into slavery, so who could point a finger?  He was far from home, so who would know if he fooled around a little?  He hadn’t initiated it, so he would just be reacting.  That’s not as bad, is it?  Furthermore, Potiphar’s wife was in reality his boss, and if your boss asks you to do something, you ought to do it, right?  

But Joseph didn’t use any of those phony rationalizations.  Instead he asks, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  All sin is ultimately against God.  We don’t have to minimize the fact that we sometimes sin against one another, or against ourselves, but the worst thing about sin is that it violates the nature and character of the God who loved us enough to send His one and only Son to die for us.   

Let me ask you to think about what would you have done if you were in Joseph’s shoes?  Or more pertinently, what are you doing now with the unique temptations of your job, whether financial, sexual, or political?  Are you cutting corners?  Are you flirting with danger?  Now is the time to hit the brakes!  Or maybe now is the time to flee!  

Joseph had made a decision long before that he would be a man of integrity.  As a result in this case he is framed by Potiphar’s wife, accused of doing the very opposite of what he actually did (namely resist her seductions), and he is thrown into prison.  

Joseph as a prisoner of Pharaoh (Genesis 40)

We are specifically told that he is put in the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.  That doesn’t mean he would be treated better than most prisoners– probably just the opposite.  This was a maximum-security prison.  It says at the end of verse 20 of chapter 40:

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.  The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

I want to share three brief principles from this period of Joseph’s life. 

1.  When bad goes to worse, the Lord is still there.  I ask you to put yourself in Joseph’s place.  You have been betrayed by your own brothers and sold into slavery in a foreign country.  But through hard work, honesty, and competence you have worked your way up to a respectful place of responsibility, even honor.  Not only that, but you have done everything God asked of you and have remained true to His commands.  So what are you doing here–in a dungeon, falsely accused and convicted of a crime?  Where is God in all this?  

Well, the author doesn’t leave us to wonder.  Have you noticed how many times in this whole story the text says that “the Lord was with Joseph”?  God never abandoned him, never got caught taking a nap, never delegated oversight of Joseph’s life to someone else.  The promise of His presence is an amazing comfort, especially when our lives take a turn for the worse.  

2.  Character is who we are, not what we do.  Bill Hybels wrote a book entitled, Who You Are When No One Is Looking.  He states an important fact: character is not the same as reputation–what other people think of us.  It is not the same as success or achievement.  Character is not what we have done, but who we are–deep down inside.  Please note that Joseph continues to function the same way and with the same principles in prison as before–because that’s who he was.   It’s bad enough to be a slave in a rich man’s house; it is far worse to be a prisoner in Pharaoh’s dungeon.  But neither situation affects Joseph’s character.  He is going to be a godly man, a hard worker, and a faithful steward, and he’s going to resist temptation, no matter what!

3.  Success is possible in the worst of jobs.  I like that statement in the text, “The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care.”  Can you imagine that?  Joseph is a convict, friends, but he has demonstrated such integrity that the warden could take a vacation and leave Joseph in charge of the prison!  It reminds me of the jailer in Philippi (Acts 16) who was ready to take his own life because an earthquake had destroyed his prison and allowed his prisoners to escape.  He knew that even an act of God would not excuse an escape from a Roman prison.  Then he heard Paul’s voice calling to him, “Don’t harm yourself.  We’re all here!”  And the first words out of the jailer’s mouth are, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”!  When believers demonstrate integrity, a lost world can’t help but sit up and take notice!

Now quickly we fast forward to the last chapter of Joseph’s life, where we find that God elevates him to the position of Prime Minister of Egypt.  You have to read chapter 41 to see the details of how it happened, but we will just read the results starting in 41:41.

Joseph as Prime Minister of Egypt (Genesis 41)

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.

During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

Joseph, the faithful worker, doesn’t suddenly become Joseph the greedy, hard-nosed tyrant when he goes from being a slave and a prisoner to #2 man in the nation.  Believe me, that could have happened.  It would have been the expectation of the day, or for that matter, of our day.  You’ve seen it, and so have I–people who were friendly, considerate, and very ordinary, who experienced an extreme makeover in their personality when success went to their heads.  No, he continues instead to use the influence God has given him to do his job with absolute integrity, undoubtedly pointing people to God as the source of every good gift.  

Among the lessons I see in this last chapter of Joseph’s life are these:

1.  Success is not earned, even by exercising integrity; success is a gift from the Lord.  Have you noticed how many times in this whole story the text tells us that the Lord was the source of Joseph’s success?  Even in naming his two sons Joseph says twice, “It is because of God .…”  “It is because of God ….”  Friends, no matter how wonderful your character is, it will never be wonderful enough to earn God’s approval.  Salvation is a free gift and even God’s blessings are a result of His grace.  Blessings often follow integrity, but they aren’t earned by integrity.  We choose to be men and women of integrity, not principally for what it will get us but because of who we are.  Honesty may be the best policy, but that’s not why we are honest.  We are God’s children and we are put here to glorify Him. 

The last thing I would want to convey to you today is that if you demonstrate integrity in your career, God is automatically obligated to reward you with promotions and success.  More often than not I believe that will be the result; but there are times when it may actually cost you your job.  I had a friend in St. Louis who had a job delivering magazines to convenience stores.  There came a point when his company decided to include pornography among their magazines, and he responded that he couldn’t deliver those magazines; his conscience wouldn’t allow it.  They said, “That’s OK, you don’t have to; you’re fired.” 

One of my favorite movies is A Man for All Seasons, Best Picture of the Year in 1966.  It is the story of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of King Henry the VIII in the 16thcentury.  Henry wanted a divorce but God’s law wouldn’t allow it, so Thomas opposed it and resigned his office so as not to be forced to act against his conscience.  Cardinal Wolsey said to Thomas, “You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat-on, without that horrible moral squint . . . With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.”  In other words, “If you weren’t such a man of integrity, you could have been successful!”  Shortly thereafter Henry VIII had Thomas beheaded.

Whether your life follows the path of Joseph–from prisoner to Prime Minister–or the path of Sir Thomas More–from Lord Chancellor to martyr, God expects integrity from His children.

2.  Even the tragedies in life are intended by God for our ultimate good.  (50:19-21) The climax of the story comes when Joseph’s brothers decide to travel to Egypt to find food.  When they arrived in Egypt I suspect they were shuttled from one government agency to another until by chance they actually received an audience with the Prime Minister.  They did not recognize him as their brother, but he recognized them.  But instead of being motivated by hatred and revenge because they had sold him into slavery, Joseph set out to determine whether his brothers felt repentance for their dastardly deed.  Satisfied eventually that they were indeed sorry, he revealed himself to them and brought his aged father to Egypt to live out his last days.

Joseph teaches us that there is no place for personal revenge–no matter how badly we have been treated.  In the business world you may take some major shots.  You may lose your job unfairly.  You may be blamed for a business decision you had nothing to do with.  Let me just ask, “How many of you have faced a major disappointment in the business world?”  

The ultimate reason why revenge is wrong is that God is at work behind the scenes, even in the tragedies of our lives, to work out all things for our good.  When his brothers first learned that the Prime Minister was their brother, they were very frightened.  But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:19, 20).  We must not forget that there is One who sees everything, and He says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”  Of course, He would rather bring reconciliation, as He did between Joseph and his brothers, and when He does, we’re all better off.  But if a person who has hurt us refuses to acknowledge that hurt and thus no reconciliation is possible, you can still count on what God promises when He says, “I will repay.”  Our job is just to be like Jesus in the work place.  

I’ve asked Ray Dorsett to come and share a testimony regarding a difficult personal experience God took him through and how He showed Ray that He intended good through it all.  

Thank you, Mike.  We are so blessed as a church, to have you and Jan!  I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to spend a few minutes to tell you of a chapter in our recent lives ¼ a chapter that in some ways was like Joseph’s.  

But, let me make it clear from the beginning that I have never been considered a “hunk” ¼ at least in the sense of how Mike used that term, even at 17 years old with ample hair and a somewhat athletic body; I was never a hunk.  So in that sense ¼ my life hasn’t been at all like Joseph’s. My situation did not involve sexual temptation; I wasn’t sold into slavery ¼ and neither did I spend any time in dark, filthy Egyptian prisons.  Still, I believe there are some very significant parallels and life applications.   

I have always believed that context is very important; the circumstances within which events occur; give meaning; significance.  

Joseph was a privileged person.  His father was Jacob, his grandfather was Isaac, and his great grandfather was Abraham ¼ the father of all nations. This was a family of significant position and possession; a family that knew the favor of God for generations.  There were cattle and camels, sheep, goats and donkeys ¼ by the hundreds and thousands.  They had a great spread of land ¼from the East to the West, from the North to the South. This family was a family of great blessing and influence for through this family the Lord would bless the whole earth.  

As Mike mentioned, Joseph was an overtly favored son who even dreamed of what lay before him in terms of significance and oversight.  Against that privileged backdrop ¼ the betrayal happened, slavery happened, the dungeon happened, and while there was no recorded sin in Joseph’s life ¼ I would have to think that discouragement happened ¼ despair and bitterness may have even happened.  No more family feasts, no more celebrations.  It was 22 years from the betrayal until Joseph saw his brothers again; effectively he lost his whole

family for those many years.   

I too have grown up in God-given privilege, for the last 31 years, Kulsum and I, together.  Not that we have had thousands of camels or land from the East to the West, but I have lived a privileged life in another sense.  Some of you know that my life has involved extensive international travel and work. 

Earlier in my life, as an international assignment photographer and a film and television producer, our work involved foreign destinations from Korea to Kazakstan, from  Uzbekistan to Uganda, from the Arctic to the Amazon, from Guatemalan volcano side villages to dung huts in the Serengeti of Tanzania, from Red Square in Moscow to the desert shores of Libya.   

As a producer of media, I have been privileged to be involved in important causes, enterprises and ministries around the world. We also produced hundreds of Bible based programs ¼ distributing them around the world ¼ walking the streets of Athens, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus, Cairo and Jerusalem ¼ to name a few.  In a sense, we had a unique passport to life. We were blessed ¼ and very privileged in that respect.

We were strongly identified with our company, Harvest Communications.  Community and business leaders called us to help advance enterprises and causes.  It was our platform.  As our company grew, we employed many people who in turn saw the world; writers, directors, producers, cameramen and graphic designers. We tried to be pro-active witnesses for Christ through our business and in the community; we truly sought to serve our employees and their families.

Starting in the late 1990’s, as the price of technology decreased, many of our employees started seeing their own opportunities to start their own production companies, to go into competition with us, though most respected our client base. In the main, we had very good people who were simply looking to care for their families.  We have good relationships with most of them to this day.

Still, we moved forward.  In 2003, at the strong encouragement of three of our young, influential leaders, we remodeled an old building into an exciting new studio.  We won large new contracts, had new technology.  We were ready for some new and exciting times lay ahead.  We trusted those same young leaders to represent us and take major responsibility with our top clients. With those same young leaders we were actively working on a buy-out plan.

Against our privileged backdrop, one Friday afternoon, 27 months ago, these three young leaders came into my office together and announced that they were leaving the company effective immediately to form their own company.  And, while they were not so brazen as to announce it to my face, we discovered within a day that they had covertly schemed to take 70% of our business and clients with them.  

A short time later we discovered that they had been about their plans since the first month after we moved into the new studio. We had never felt so betrayed.  Two of these men are believers; the third we took in while he was unemployed, his wife was pregnant and they had no health insurance.

Unless at 60 years old I wanted to go out and find key people, train them, form a new team, try against all probability to regain our customers, our privileged time at Harvest Communications ¼was over!!!.

Kulsum and I prayed about what had happened, we poured out our hearts; we talked with our kids, just out of college; we talked with our Board of Directors, and we talked with some of you ¼ and after a few days ¼ we decided to close the company.  

Almost immediately the media was all over it.  Articles were written in the papers, the communications community was calling.  What’s the story?  What happened?  Who did what and when?  And, why?

We had amazing support from some of you in this church and people throughout the community. Though we hurt to the core of our being, we chose by God’s grace, to see the previous 27 years with Harvest Communications as rich years of blessing ¼ to be thankful ¼ and to as much as possible not to return evil for evil.

We talked with Don Hill, our long time attorney, and wondered about bringing legal action ¼ for there was a great deal of money involved.  We chose not to proceed with any of that ¼ though it cost us our company and a significant part of our nest egg.  We trusted that God would deal with those who had hurt us ¼ and continue to provide for us as He always had.  

Still, we had nights of tossing and turning, wondering and even worrying.  But within 48 hours, the owners of Love Box Company, lifetime friends and Board members at Harvest Communications, offered me an outstanding job as Director of Marketing and Communications.  

As you may know, in November of last year, Love Box was sold to an Australian company, Pratt Industries, owned by a Jewish man, where I continue to serve ¼ now in the same capacity for the combined company.  We are thankful!!

What have we learned? First, we had to remember to give thanks for the multitude blessings poured out on us through the many years.

Second, we remembered who we really are.  Yes, we were in a sense the “owners” of Harvest Communications, for 27 years.  But actually we were only stewards of what God owned and chose to use for those many years. We had to rethink and remember who we really are; remember that our citizenship is not of this world, we are here and serving, temporarily.  Further, we are not our own, we have been bought with the price of the blood of Christ.  Even in this most difficult trial, we are here to glorify God in our bodies, our minds, our attitudes and our relationships.  

While we had often answered the question, “what do you do” with something about Harvest Communications, we learned again that Jesus is our identity, our life, our hope, our significance, our fortress, our present, our future ¼ our healing. We are His and He is ours.  

Fourth, we have had to really think about the possible roots of bitterness and how this could defile many; we had to rethink forgiveness, for we do not want to dishonor God in the midst of our pain, in vengeance.  We didn’t want to turn around 10 years from now and find that this turn of events was still defining us.  We are in the process of learning about Peacemaking  through Mike’s encouragement. It’s not always easy though we have seen some great things happen.

Fifth, through this trial, the Lord has taught us another very important and life changing lesson.  Through this set of very difficult experiences, I felt prompted by the Lord to write a book entitled, “No Common Days”; the subtitle of which is “Discovering true Life Significance Right Where You are Right Now.”  (Working on final draft).

One relevant thought.  Briefly, from the book, did you know that Jesus lived 85% of His life in Nazareth, 28 of 33 years ¼ a town that biblical archaeologists say never had more than 150 people, about 35 simple homes on 6 acres ¼ about the size of two city blocks; Nazareth: a town smaller than Hungry Horse, Montana; smaller than Searchlight, Nevada; smaller than Gu-Win, Alabama ¼ not traveling very far. But there Jesus stayed for most of his life, not needing a big position, a big place or association with big people.

Why is this important to us?  Most of us live in small places, common places, every day jobs, if you will, but they are eternally significant because the Lord has planted you, uniquely, next to your neighbor, next to the person in the next cubicle.  You have more opportunity, perhaps, than anyone in history to touch that one person for Christ.

So in the end, we have learned it doesn’t really matter where you are, what you do, or who you are with ¼ for every place is beautifully common but uncommon, rich, significant and abundant ¼ even the position of a WalMart greeter.

So in the end, we have learned that it doesn’t matter to us that the Lord has moved our cheese ¼from Harvest Communications to Love Box Company ¼ now Pratt Industries. We live in the same house with the same great neighbors. We are richly blessed, and you are richly blessed, because He is there with you, where ever you are.   

You don’t have to be in the most remote places of the world to be significant, the biggest position, with the most influential people.  Go out your front door, look left, look right, and you’ll see your privilege.  Walk through your office, and you’ll see your privilege ¼ for we all are ¼ privileged ¼right where we are. 


Conclusion:  Please don’t forget that Joseph was never a clergyman, never a prophet, never a priest.  Joseph spent his whole life in what we call secular work, but his impact exceeded that of most priests and prophets. I want to ask us to take a few moments here at the end of this message to ask the Holy Spirit to drive the principles of this passage home to our hearts and lives.  If you will just take the outline and look at the seven principles we have covered, decide which one is most relevant to you today, and pray that God would enable you this week to live it out in such a way that He would be glorified and you would be faithful.







[i] In 2021 I asked Ray Dorsett what had happened to the company his former employees formed.  He wrote back, “They went forward with compromised and self-centered principles which eventually brought them to conflict between themselves and the end of their enterprise.”