Genesis 41-42, Psalm 13
William Wilberforce, by the age of 24, had a powerful seat in Parliament. Like most politicians his hope was to be Prime Minister and he was positioned to give a good run for that position. While on a trip with a man named Isaac Milner, he became a believer in Jesus Christ. All else now seemed insignificant. Rather than seek his own ambition he believed God called him to champion the cause of abolishing the slave trade and bring a biblical world view to his culture so they would respect everyone as a person made in the image of God. He realized that without changing hearts the laws could never get passed to improve the plight of the slaves. 3 days before his death at the age of 48, in 1833, the House of Commons outlawed slavery. He has been quoted as saying, “Let true Christians then, with becoming earnestness, strive in all things to recommend their profession, and to put to silence the vain scoffs of ignorant objectors. Let them boldly assert the cause of Christ in an age when so many, who bear the name of Christians, are ashamed of Him…but rather by that sure and radical benefit of restoring the influence of Religion, and of raising the standard of morality.” William Wilberforce made a choice to live a life giving all the glory to God rather than himself and as a result God used him mightily.
After 13 years since being sold into slavery, and around 10 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Joseph finds himself before Pharaoh. We read in Genesis 41:15-16, “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” You have to be amazed at this, after 10 years in prison don’t you think that you would want to shine the spotlight on yourself, but despite his long suffering all the glory goes to God. When Daniel was before King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:26-28, he responded similarly. The king said, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and it’s interpretation?” And Daniel responded with, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets,…”. Both godly men were put before pagan kings and chose to give all the glory to God, rather than themselves. In Joseph’s presentation in Genesis 41:25,28, and 32, he continues to glorify God in the interpretation. Notice Pharoah’s statement concerning Joseph in 41:38, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” One hour before Joseph is declared Prime Minister of Egypt, he was a prisoner. The development of character is a long process. Joseph spent 13 years in obscurity, probably wondering why his talents were being wasted and overlooked. If we seek man’s approval, fulfillment will never be achieved. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” We are vessels, which if emptied of ourselves can yield to and be filled with the Holy Spirit and then be used by God, for His glory.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: