When I am captain of the dodge ball team, choosing up players, my first choice will be Joseph. Just look at his stats:
“From the time [Potiphar] appointed him over his house and in charge of all that was his, Jehovah kept blessing the house of the Egyptian because of Joseph, and Jehovah’s blessing came to be on all that he had in the house and in the field. He eventually left everything that was his in Joseph’s care, and he gave no thought to anything except the food he was eating.” (Genesis 39:5-6)
“So the chief officer of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners in the prison, and everything that they were doing there, he was the one having it done. The chief officer of the prison was looking after absolutely nothing that was in Joseph’s care, for Jehovah was with Joseph and Jehovah made whatever he did successful.” (Genesis 39:22-23)
“Pharaoh further said to Joseph: “I am Pharaoh, but without your authorization, no man may do a single thing in all the land of Egypt.” ...The people began to cry to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians: “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” ...People of all the earth came to Egypt to buy from Joseph, because the famine had a strong grip on all the earth.” (Genesis 41:44, 55-57)
The bolded words say it all. He was a really good player. Were he on my team, he would soon be doing it all. We wouldn’t have to suffer being smashed with a ball and tagged out—that hurts!—we would voluntarily tag ourselves out and sit on the sidelines drinking Gatorade while he singlehandedly won the game.
He had dreams, too. Cool dreams. Not the type of dreams that I have, like how I am sitting in the stands and suddenly remember that I have the next talk, only I have forgotten to wear my pants this day, and—come to think of it—the talk itself had slipped my mind so I haven’t prepared, but I might possibly be able to ad lib my way through—still, it would have been better had I remembered my pants...
No. Joseph’s dreams were about the rise and fall of peoples. At first, they got him into trouble, but later in life they got him out of trouble and landed him in some hotshot jobs, like being savior of the earth. (41:57) I did at around the turn of the year have a prophetic dream that the end would come prior to January because we had reached the end of our current Bible reading schedule and it would be too inconvenient to make everyone start all over again at Genesis, but it proved unreliable. Joseph gets all the cool dreams and I have all the duds.
He wasn’t full of himself, though. After interpreting Pharoah’s dream about how seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of want, he says: “So now let Pharaoh look for a man who is discreet and wise and place him over the land of Egypt.” He doesn’t add—after he had just interpreted the dream that no one else could!—“Ahem...and I’m your man.” But it goes that way anyhow because he just interpreted the dream that no one else could. Isn’t there some verse somewhere about how it is better for other people to praise you than it is to jump the gun and do it yourself?
“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; Others, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)
I like too how he customarily showed interest in others. Here he is in a prison hole greeting his mates with: “Why are your faces gloomy today?” (40:7) Turns out that they were gloomy because they’d each had a dream that they couldn’t figure out, and so Joseph did it for them. It ended up springing him from the hoosegow—so it couldn’t have been too much a waste of time for him to show fellow-feeling.
Genesis 41:46 is relevant, too: “Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” [to be granted his new role as administrator]. 30—same as was David when he began to rule and Jesus when he began his ministry.
Now, as it turns out, I was married on my thirtieth birthday. When elders sneak up the way they do trying to make it hot for me with my birthday cake, I always turn the table on them and send them away frustrated by pointing out that it is an anniversary cake. However, this fact of a significant phase of my life starting at 30 like with other worthies—does it mean that I, too, am a hotshot? Does it mean that I, too, should be listened to? Too bad for me if that is so because nobody is.
With all the blogging I have done for 15 years, Maybe I ought to be an in-house theologian by now. Naw—the earthly organization isn’t enthralled with bloggers and maybe this post serves to remind why. Sure, I’m loyal now—but what if I park on the lawn and the elders tell me not to and I point out that I live in America so I can do anything I want and I decide to settle the score on my own blog—well, what then? If a brother goes bad at Bethel, they simply yank him and throw in another, but what will they do when I go bad? No wonder blogging doesn’t do it for them.
It is a light post, but the part about Joseph taking interest in others even in the prison hole is a lesson for the ages. Same with how, even when he suffered serious reversals, Jehovah was always with him, as is stated at 39:2 and 39:21. Life may suck at the moment—it doesn’t mean that Jehovah is not with one, and it doesn’t mean that it can’t turn on a dime.
Well well well. A 22lbs produce pack from the USDA. Apparantly all non-profits received a large supply to distribute. I’m very grateful. Elders distributed to the congregation members. But will this become a—gasp!— ‘Go to Donald’ type of thing?