By Norman P. Grubb
Well, we know Joseph. I can’t think it could have come to Joseph that moment that he would be chosen…I doubt it. It’s much more likely that he just said it out of his instinct for decent organization. That’s the way you do it. “You’re the man! My, my, you’re the man.” Everybody agreed, or had to agree, because it was so obviously so. I love the statement of Pharaoh. This was a statement from a pagan, we’d say. Are they pagans? Do they find God? May not Potiphar have found God? May not the men in prison? Because Pharaoh says this…“Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” Isn’t that some statement for a pagan ruler, the greatest in the world? He recognized the Spirit of God in a man. How silly we are to say the Spirit of God isn’t in men of the Old Testament, and is only in the man of the New. He’s there all right. Way back there Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God in Joseph, not on him, IN him, and speaking by Joseph.
Now we follow the years of Joseph’s magnificent management. He was a top man, but God brought out of him those gifts which only God had brought to light by putting him in these situations. So with 100% efficiency, he handled this huge commitment to build hundreds of barns for corn in the rich years when it wasn’t needed by the people, stored it, preserved it, and then, when the lean years began, gave it out, rationed it out bit by bit so the people could be fed. Pharaoh made him a ‘big noise’, of course. Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. He made him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and they cried before him, “Bow the knee”, and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. That didn’t touch Joseph. He was already a bigger ruler than that. He was already God’s ruler…beginning to rule the universe…so this didn’t bother him.
Pride and humility isn’t thinking much or thinking little of yourself; it’s you not being there at all. You’re occupied with God. That’s humility and pride. You’re neither humble nor proud – you’re occupied with God. Humility is only a reverse form of pride. Pride is only a reverse form of humility. It’s “I’m not” or “I am”, but when I’m not there at all…God is; that’s it. It didn’t move Joseph. Joseph was occupied in fulfilling God’s purposes on this new level, that’s all.
Now there came the time of the fulfillment of the dream and the link-up with the whole family. Distances were great in those days and it was quite a big business to travel from Egypt to the land of Canaan. There is no reason to suppose that there would be any further link between Joseph and his family. He had married the daughter of the chief priest, Potiphar, priest of On. He’d called his first son “Forgetting” (Manasseh). So it looks as if it wasn’t in his mind to relate to his family even if he could. Perhaps he felt he couldn’t. There’s no sign he was doing so. I’m only saying that because again and again it was God engineering everything. It was the famine that brought the family in desperation out of Canaan to come and buy some food from the well-stocked Egyptians.
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