From the Penthouse, to Prison, Back to the Penthouse and Then Some
I was thinking about Joseph this week, the Joseph in the Old Testament- the one that was sold into slavery by his brothers, the one who was lied on, put in a well, and who spent years in prison for a situation that wasn’t fair…
Before Joseph was born, God had a mighty plan for his life, a destiny for him to save his nation (the Israelites) and another nation (Egypt) from starvation. But, being his father Jacob’s favorite son, (Genesis 37:3) and having a mother who was his father’s favorite, Joseph was arrogant and spoiled. He didn’t know the meaning of work because his father didn’t make him work. And, he didn’t know humility. Plus, his father gave him a beautiful coat of colors in front of his other brothers. All of this was too much for his brothers, as envy and hatred arose in their hearts.
As a result, Joseph was sold into slavery for 13 years. Egyptian prisons during his time were very small confined spaces. He couldn’t walk around, he had to sit on a small stool, bent over with no light. Day after day, for 13 years, Joseph was in complete darkness. There God dealt with him. Because of the heavy call of leadership that was on his life, God knew that humility needed to be drilled into young Joseph.
I am now 30 years old and when I look at my 17-year-old self, ‘my,’ I think to myself, ‘I have come a long way.’ And I am sure you can relate to your 17-year-old self and your 30-year-old self (for those of you who have reached 30).
It takes humility to be a leader and it takes patience. God needed these two attributes: humility and patience to be the core of Joseph. There is no way that he could be the second in control of Egypt without humility and patience. And there is no way that he could have forgiven his brothers without humility and patience.
God meets us where we are, and He grows us where we are. If Joseph would have gotten his leadership position anywhere from the ages of 17-29, he wouldn’t have been ready. Also, 30 in the Bible is the number for the start of ministry, so God had a deeper reason to waiting until Joseph was 30 to place him as second control of Egypt.
When I was in Egypt a few years ago, I was amazed that people still recognize Joseph as their first minister of finance. Not only did God have a destiny for Joseph, He had a legacy for him. Because 3,770 years later Egyptians, and you and I are still talking about him. We wouldn’t be talking about Joseph if he would have gotten his blessing too early.
So, if you’re waiting for something from God, wait until His perfect timing so that you won’t mess up your blessing.