THE SOURCE OF GODLY CHARACTER

Scripture Reading: Genesis 41:37-57

“And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find a man like him, in whom is the Spirit of God?’ Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are.'” (Genesis 41:38,39)

Pharaoh noticed two important characteristics in Joseph’s life. First, Joseph was a man in whom is the Spirit of God. He was grounded in his faith and he was led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit gave Joseph many gifts and abilities, including the ability to interpret dreams. Joseph walked by the Spirit and yielded himself to the Spirit. Second, Joseph was discerning and wise. He had deep insight into matters and he had the wisdom to know what to do. This was evident by how Joseph handled the crisis of the impending famine.

The key to Joseph’s success in Egypt was his godly character. It was because of his character that power passed into Joseph’s hands. Joseph was upright, honest, straightforward, and true. He consistently acted with integrity and others knew that they could trust him.

The source of Joseph’s character was God. From the first to the last it was the grace and power of God that made Joseph what he was. During his times of adversity, Joseph looked to God for strength and wisdom. During these hard times Joseph learned the importance of submission. In the face of injustice and cruel wrong, he accepted his circumstances without complaining. In every difficult turn in his life, he was determined to make the best of whatever situation he was in. God used the trials of his life to mold and mature Joseph.

When he was at the height of his success, he continued to look to God for his strength and wisdom. In the chapters that follow, nothing bad is said of him. He is one of the few major characters in the Bible of whom this can be said.

Pharaoh gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath-paneah. Over the years various interpretations have been given for this name. Many scholars believe the name means “God speaks, He lives.” This name bears testimony to the character of Joseph.

Godly character is rooted in the deepest recesses of the heart. It is the product of the sanctifying work of God. God molds us, shapes us, and transforms us from the inside out. It was the Spirit of God who worked in Joseph’s heart to make him the godly man that he was.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Mold me, make me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. (Daniel Iverson)

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