In many ways, Joseph is a tremendous example of the worshiping Christian.
First, Joseph is beloved by God, and as such he is promised incredible future blessings. Through a special dream, he is promised a royal destiny; under God he is to rule over his father, mother, and brothers. As “children of the king” similar blessings are promised to us . We are to live life as a “kingdom of priests,” and we are to expect future joy as people who are “joint heirs with Jesus.” Symbolically, we are promised royal robes, thrones, jewels, crowns, and mansions. Such is the destiny of all in who are citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Second, Joseph is buffeted under the watchful eye of God. God’s divine revelation tells him his destiny is to rule and reign. However, his present-day experience is one of hatred, assault, temptation, slander, unjust incarceration, and being utterly forgotten. So, just as Joseph experienced the pit and the prison on his way to the palace, we should expect the same. Let us learn from the ladies in scripture who were promised children but had to endure horrid seasons of barrenness. In addition, let us learn from men in scripture such as Abraham, Job, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jesus, and the Apostles. Quite often those who are promised blessings, they are painfully buffeted by the very God who loves them so. It is not rare to see God buffeting the head of his children who will one day wear his crown.
Third, Joseph thrives in whatever environment the Lord places him. Whether he wears the multi-colored coat of a prince or the striped pajamas of a prisoner; whether he be found in his father’s field, his enemies caravan, his master’s house, or his king’s prison, Joseph is pleasing to the Lord and profitable to his neighbors. Therefore Christians, whatever our lot, let us strive to glorify the Lord and serve our neighbors regardless of our abounding or being abased.
Fourth, Joseph is a faithful communicator of God’s communiqué. In Genesis 40, Joseph is not the originator of revelation. In this particular scene, he is not even the original recipient of God’s revelation. However, he is the gifted, careful and faithful communicator of God’s revelation to others. To the cupbearer, the interpretation and communication of God’s Word is extremely good news – restoration is promised. But Joseph shrinks not from declaring the revealed doom about to befall Pharaoh’s baker. Therefore friends, let us be equally careful and faithful. Whether we be ministers who preach from pulpits, teachers who preach from lecterns, business professionals who preach in boardrooms, parents who preach in bedrooms, or neighbors who preach from front porches, let us express the entirety of God’s truth to our neighbors. Let us not be ecumenical motivational speakers who only have good news to report. As faithful ambassadors of Christ, we dare not alter, edit, or censor the King’s message. Let us be faithful communicators of God’s entire communiqué.
Fifth, while suffering unjustly, Joseph keeps his eye on the prize. Even though suffering in prison, he expects God to make good on his Word. So through spiritual prayer and earthly strategy, he waits upon and pursues the blessings promised by his Lord. Ultimately, in Joseph’s story, God comes through. Joseph does indeed become the sovereign over his father, mother, and brothers. The same will prove true for those found in Christ Jesus. In the end, God will regally bless all the recipients of his eternal, covenantal promises.