Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Character of Gold

This past week has been a challenge for me.
I couldn't put my finger on what made it so, yet it was.
Even the smallest thing seemed monumental to me.

Things or should I say I am settled down quite a bit now and with the settling comes some perspective.
Occasionally or not so occasionally I allow too much to pile up on my plate.
That comes from not checking with Papa over each detail.
It doesn't take long for things to begin to unravel.
It doesn't take long at all....

My Scripture reading today was in Genesis Forty-One.
It got me to thinking about character, which actually relates to my tumultuous week.

Joseph was languishing in prison after being falsely accused and condemned.

No matter where Joseph found himself, he brought blessing.
Even in prison.

God had also gifted him with the ability to interpret dreams, which he did for the king's cup bearer and baker.
His interpretation was found to be true and when the cup bearer was released, as per the dream, he promised to remember Joseph.
He promptly.. forgot him.

Until the king, Pharaoh had two disturbing dreams.
This brings us to my reading this morning.

Pharaoh could find no one to explain his dream and that is when the cup bearer remembered Joseph.

Out of the prison Joseph comes, cleaned up and presentable and into the presence of the king.
When Pharaoh states that he has heard of Joseph's ability to interpret dreams, Joseph corrects him.
"It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."
He could have taken credit in hopes of becoming indispensable to the king, but he didn't.

After he explained the dream, which was the prediction of a coming famine, he also informed Pharaoh of what he should do to avoid its impact and the need for someone to head up the program.

At this point Pharaoh confers with his advisers and concludes that Joseph is the man for the job.  With that he takes his signet ring off and gives it to Joseph making him number two after himself in the kingdom.

This really hit me.
Sure Joseph's interpretation was impressive and his words rang true for Pharaoh, but was that all that it took for the king to virtually turn his kingdom over to this man?
This man who had come directly form prison?

Pharaoh could not have been that easily swayed, not and have such a vast kingdom that had been running well.  The king had to be a man who recognized character when he saw it.
And Joseph certainly was a man of character!

He did not succumb to temptation nor fear.
He was a man of faith.

Joseph trusted his God.
He knew The LORD was faithful to His Word and faithful to His people.
Joseph trusted that God had a plan for his life and that His will would be done.

At no point do we find Joseph rattled.
At no point does he take things into his own hands

Joseph's father and grandfather had been schemers and manipulators.
Not Joseph.
The sins of his fathers had not been carried on to him.
Why not?

The Twentieth chapter of Exodus, verse Five tells us that He
"visits the sins of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me."
Note who those generations are..
Those who hate Him.

But it doesn't end there...
the following verse says,
"but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments."
Joseph loved his God and kept His commandments.

Jesus instructed that we cannot love anyone above our love for Him.  That includes ourselves.

To love Him first and best means we trust Him and obey Him.

So moving from the story of Joseph to the story of Deborah I find a glaring difference.
I allowed the details (some of which were insurance related, yet again!) to rattle me.
Instead of remembering Who my God is and His faithfulness I tried to work it all out on my own.
Very frustrating to say the least.

I love something Job said found in the Twenty-Third chapter,
"But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
The character He desires to develop in His children is such that will be pure gold.
How I want to shine like that for Him!

There is a simple slogan,
"Let go and let God."
It works every time.

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