Many at times when we read about Joseph we are reminded of his resilience, his focus on the vision. I have even heard prophetic messages such as being the “Joseph of the family”, referring to an individual who becomes a vessel that God uses to bring deliverance to a family. Never are we told about his pride. Whilst reading a book, I discovered how prideful Joseph was how this delayed God`s fulfillment of the dream he had seen.
From the moment Joseph received the vision that he would be ruler over his family, he boasted to his brothers which made them envious of him. Whether he knew this or not, his high self regard aroused the anger of his brothers. As the last born he was considered inferior, but here he was claiming superiority. His brothers must have thought this seventeen year old must be crazy. Well it wasn`t just Joseph who was guilty of conceitedness, Job in chapter 42:10 mirrors self glorification and selfishness many of us fall prey too. It was only after he had shifted his focus from “me” to “you” that his fortune was restored.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before Job 42:10 The lesson we learn from Joseph and Job is simple, keep the spotlight on God. We first pick it up Joseph`s pride in Genesis 37:5-9 as he shares the dream with his family.
Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain in the field, and suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to mine.” “Do you intend to reign over us?” his brothers asked. “Will you actually rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and his statements.
How much more could he anger his brothers?
Then Joseph had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
This distasteful trait becomes more evident when he is tempted by Potiphars wife. See how he responds in Genesis 39:9. He says “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?”
Wow, how much more egotistical can he be? After saying all he had to say, he mentions sinning against God last. Everything else is about him. Joseph is falsely accused and ends up in jail. I believe God was giving him an opportunity to redeem himself. The king`s cupbearer and baker are locked up in prison where Joseph is too. They both have dreams and approach Joseph for interpretation.
Again Josephs arrogance takes the spotlight. In Genesis 40:14 he says “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” It’s just me, me, me. No God in there. See what happens after, the cupbearer is released and forgets him.
Two years later, Joseph is finally presented before Pharaoh look at what he says in Genesis 41:16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Something had changed in Joseph. And see what happens then, he is made ruler over all of Egypt.
The story of Joseph teaches us three things:
Favor comes with honor
For he who is least among you all is the one who is great. Luke 9:48
Once Joseph recognized the vision as one whose purpose was to glorify God, once he realized that the spotlight was not his but God, once God worked on his heart and it’s selfish content, the future he had seen did not come to fruition. It was until he died to ‘SELF’ that he prospered in the thing God had spoken to him about.
Pride can delay our purpose and blessing
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21
Joseph had dreams at age seventeen. It wasn`t until he was 30 that he took charge of all of Egypt. Even Jesus explicitly taught his disciples about dying to self. Our hearts ought to be right before God. God wants us to prosper as our soul(mind, will, and emotions) prospers. Let us not harbor fruits of the flesh, pride, hatred, jealousy, envy, lust, unforgiveness.
The gifts of God are without repentance
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:29
Although there was delay in what God had called Joseph to do, He still fulfilled it. God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our past does not revoke. No matter what his brothers did to him, with all the work needed with his pride, God still used him. It was a learning process for Joseph. His character was being molded. Although it wasn`t God`s perfect will, He permitted it in order to fulfill His purpose. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Genesis 50:20
If you would like to know why on earth you are here, check out our discover your purpose course that will help you find fulfillmemt doing what God has called you to do.