“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”, saith the Almighty God (Isaiah 43:2 KJV).
This young man was greatly beloved by his aged Dad. He was a “Daddy’s boy” and was adorably adorned with a coat of many colours, much to the envy of his older brothers. They called him the Dreamer, because of his awe inspiring dreams he had about himself and his future. But he never stopped dreaming and hoping in the God of his father.
This young man, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his own brothers, and went through the dungeon to become a prime minister in a foreign land. Let’s examine some wisdom keys to greatness from the life of this Biblical character.
1] Joseph was a VISIONARY. He was a dreamer who wouldn’t let anything stop him from dreaming. “Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more…. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers…” (Genesis 37:5, 9 NKJV). He would not allow the negative attitude of his brothers to stop him from dreaming and envisioning his future. He had eyes for his future, trusting and hoping in the sovereign hand of the Almighty God.
2] He was INCORRUPTIBLE. Joseph chose his own path in life. He chose the path of uprightness and would not allow the evil conduct of his brothers to influence him. “Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father.” (Genesis 37:2 NKJV).
3] Joseph NEVER ENTERTAINED A RETRIBUTIVE SPIRIT. He was hated by his brothers. He knew it, but still he cared for them. He was concerned about their welfare (Read Genesis 37:4, 13-16). Vengeance is a negative emotion that always destroys its seeker. As you throw mud at your supposed adversary, you get your hands muddy and you lose ground. Ultimately, you fall in the process, as you see your adversary fall. Great men have great hearts of longsuffering. Leave vengeance to God. “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30 KJV).
4] Joseph was EXCELLENT WITH HIS BUSINESS. As a slave, he was diligent and served very well, and became overseer of his master’s house (Genesis 39:2-6). He was excellent with his work, and was blameless. Even in prison, all the prisoners were committed to his hand (Genesis 39:21-23). “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Excellence would set you apart from your contemporaries.
5] He was a man of INTEGRITY. In a strange land, where no one knew him and his God, he kept the principles and precepts of the Almighty (Genesis 39:10-13). Integrity is being in private what one is in public. We must know that our private dealings always influence our public lives. Joseph kept the presence of God, which made him prosper even in bizarre conditions, because of his integrity. “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” (Proverbs 11:3 KJV).
6] He had a GREAT SENSE OF LOYALTY. Joseph was very loyal to his master and wouldn’t want to betray his trust, even in secret. He was very faithful to his God, even in an ungodly habitation (Genesis 39:9). He chose to be humiliated, and to flee half naked, than to give up his loyalty (Genesis 39:12). “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6 KJV).
7] He NURTURED AND DEVELOPED HIS TALENT. Joseph was devoted to his personal development, even in a strange land. He never despised his gift with dreams. He started off as a dreamer but ended up interpreting dreams. Never despise your gift, develop it! The Apostle Paul told Timothy: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1 Timothy 4:14 KJV). “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16 KJV).
8] Joseph USED HIS TALENT TO SERVE OTHERS. He cared about the welfare of others and would like to hear their troubles, and offer help inspite of his own unfortunate condition: “And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?” (Genesis 40:6-7 KJV). He interpreted their troubling dreams to them. As you care about people and serve them with your abilities and skills, you will become great. SERVICE IS THE ROAD TO GREATNESS. Christ Jesus said, “But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mathew 20:26-28 NKJV).
9] Joseph was HUMBLE TO ASK FOR HELP. Joseph asked for help from the chief butler when it gets well with him. God will use people to get you to your desired destination. Therefore, care about your relationship with people. You can’t do it all alone. No! That’s impossible. Remember that Jesus had disciples and Moses had Aaron and Joshua. Adam couldn’t do God’s task all alone, so God in His infinite wisdom brought him Eve as a suitable helper and companion. We need each other, and must be humble enough to ask for help when it is needed. HUMILITY IS THE MASTER KEY OF THE DOOR TO GREATNESS. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
10] Joseph cultivated THE PRESENCE OF GOD. You will find that in all his dealings and situations, God was with him. Joseph cultivated the presence of God with his unrelenting faith in God and trust in His sovereignty, even in a foreign land. He loved the God of his father, and never wanted to lose His presence with acts of unrighteousness. “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” (Psalm 11:7 KJV). So God was with him and made everything he did to prosper (Genesis 39:2-3, 21-23). When divinity is with humanity, there is the release of an uncommon personality.
No matter where you begin, from the bottom, you could rise if you follow the eternal principles outlined in God’s Word. “Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” (Job 8:7 KJV).
God bless you!