Joseph’s Transistion by Stephanie Rice

“Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this – one in whom is the Spirit of God?” Genesis 41:38

Of all the characters we read about in the Bible, Joseph is one of my all time favorites. No one has a story like Joseph. He knows what it is like to be both adored and hated in the same family. He knows what its like to be at the top of his game and the bottom of the barrel. Joseph was one of the first people to understand that favor is not fair and that fair does not include favor. Joseph was a man abused, misused, lied on, lied to, forgotten, and left for dead. And yet we see him here, after all of the mess and distress that has happened in his life, up to this point, being commended. And he is not being commended for being a survivor, and he is not being acknowledged for his mind. The Pharaoh is not recognizing him for his good looks, youth, or personality. Joseph is being recognized by and identified for the Spirit of God that resided in him, and nothing else. Since this was the identifying characteristic that set Joseph apart, I think it is prudent to look at a couple of different dynamics in the relationship between Spirit of God and Joseph.

First, we see this reciprocal nature between the Spirit of God and Joseph. There was enough love and trust between the two of them where they never let go of each other. God showed Joseph where He was going to take him, and Joseph trusted God to get him there. Joseph had a plan for his life before he was born, but he didn’t realize there were going to be problems in the plan until he was 17. But it was in those problems that he clung to the promise. And the more he clung to the promise the more God kept pushing him through, and finally to, his destination. And God pushed Joseph through some crazy situations. He pushed him through an attempted murder. He pushed him through being sold out. He pushed him through an upper management job that he thought was secure before he was let go. He pushed him through a trumped up, false, felony charge. He pushed him through serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. And through all of that pushing, Joseph kept holding on, because he understood that when God is pushing you, he still has his hands on you.

We also see a beneficial mutualism between the Spirit of God and Joseph. There was a promotion on both sides. When God promoted Joseph, He was exalted as well. Joseph was in Egypt with a Pharaoh and a polytheistic society. They had a god for everything. In fact, the Pharaoh was considered a god himself. But here is a little god acknowledging the power and glory of the one and only God of the most high. And all of this was happening as Joseph was literally being brought up from the prison to the palace. Joseph never went back. He went from passing to permanent in a matter of minutes. Joseph went from rotting in the kingdom to running the kingdom. And every time people saw Joseph, they saw his God as they saved the land.

Now, I know that this is an old testament story with an old testament ending. But the same God that pushed and promoted Joseph is the same God that wants to push and promote us today. All He is looking for are people who want a genuine level of relationship through the good and bad, happy and sad with Him. God is so committed to you that He has had a plan for your entire life since before you were born. That’s why you feel like you are being constantly being pushed and promoted in some of the most awkward, crazy, and interesting of situations. Are you that committed to hold on to Him as He is to holding on to you? “Time is filled with swift transition, Naught of earth unmoved can stand, Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand.” (Jennie Wilson)

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