4 For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.The ONE who is perfect in knowledge is Jesus. Elihu : (El being the name of God, Elihu means "He is my God".) Elihu is a type and shadow of Jesus who is to come. He is the only one of the speakers in Job who is not rebuked by God. He comes as a prophet and messenger of God. His entire speech to Job is riddled with the message of Jesus and a foreshadowing of His coming. It is Jesus that we turn to, and Jesus that is our light and life.
11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.This is a promise to every born again believer to this day. If I will obey God and Serve Him I will spend my days in prosperity and my years in pleasures! But What does it mean to serve and obey Him? He is not looking for religious rituals and outer service. Jesus showed us that our service to God is a heart first service. Let us take a look at Joseph, one of the greatest examples of prospering despite adversity in the bible.
8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"This woman is trying to sleep with him. But she is not Joseph's wife, she's not even a single lady looking to get a man, she is his Bosses wife! Now that is a predicament to be in. As a server for 5 years in restaurants I know the life of a servant. Hospitality and Service breed with them a desire to do anything it takes to please your guests and do what it takes to make them comfortable and happy. It is bad service to deny someone something you could get them if it's in your power to do it. Many times, if the guest is particularly friendly, we may feel the need to go out of our way to make something happen for them that is not on the menu or is not usually done. Not only that, but Joseph is a man with inner hormones like any other man, he must at least feel some pressure to give in to this request, however faint. This request, however, is outside of the realm of things that are proper and good for Joseph to do.
10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.This wasn't just a one time request. This lady is after him DAILY. Every day she's asking him to do this. I would have thought of telling her husband... "Um... Listen sir... there is a problem and I really don't know how to tell you this... I don't want to cause problems here.... Your wife is asking me to go to bed with her..." Sure that would cause ruffles but at least I'd be in the clear. That may have been the one error here, Joseph is not wanting to upset anyone, so he keeps telling her no and hoping it will go away. As a man with a servants heart he doesn't want her to get into trouble either so he just keeps turning her down hoping she'll be giving up. But that doesn't happen. Eventually she is so frustrated by his turning her down that she decides to get back at him and cause him trouble. This is bad for her, but she doesn't know it. Her whole house was prospering because of Joseph. Her and her husband will be worse off for having treated Joseph this way. I think the master knew something was up and that Joseph wasn't totally at fault here because he could have had him killed. In the end he only through him in jail.
20 Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.Now Joseph is in prison and it's not his fault. He's been framed! So of course he goes into a 3 year depression spell and throws a self pity party... ? That's what I would have done. But He is back at it again, servants heart going to work immediately. He's just listening to and obeying God every step of the way. It's God's favor on Joseph that is caused him to prosper, and he knows it. Therefore he pays no attention to circumstances or situations. He is not relying on his position to prosper him, he is relying on his FAVOR. That is the word I see repeated in his life story. Favor and Mercy were his greatest tools of prosperity.
We see in Hebrews more elaboration about another aspect of Joseph, his Faith. (Heb 11:22 Joseph gave instructions to his kids regarding future events... he did it by faith. Even after years as the vice president of the greatest nation on earth he was living by faith up to the end.) Joseph himself was a type and shadow of another servant leader, Jesus.
Jesus, the greatest servant of them all came to serve and not to be served, Matthew 20:28. What does Hebrews say about Jesus greatest trail? When Jesus was facing the cross how did he overcome that ordeal?
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For the JOY set before Him he endured the cross... What Joy was set before him? You and I. We would become his brothers and sisters in a new and glorious kingdom. That kingdom is living in us now. We are ambassadors of that kingdom here on this earth. We are imposing and enforcing the Word of God as final authority in this earth today as citizen's of that kingdom. Just as an ambassador in another country is there to see to the interests of his home country in the country he resides in so too we see to the interests of our king in this foreign land. So what JOY is set before us? THE BLESSING of the THE KINGDOM OF GOD. We are sent into barren lands to do the same things Joseph did. He didn't get sent to prosperous places to get prospered. He got sent to places that needed God and the BLESSING inside of him created prosperity everywhere he went. THAT is our mission and our message on this planet.
Whether we be at work, ministry, play, or just shopping at the grocery store, we are to constantly mindful of THE BLESSING that is in us and on us. How are my actions co-operating with that BLESSING right now?
But wait! Before we think it's automatic where did Joseph's BLESSING come from? Abraham, Issac, and then his Father Jacob all had it passed down to him and his brothers. So if that blessing was available to all 12 kids, why was Joseph the only one walking in it? There is no direct answer in the bible about this. But if you look at the life and actions of these kids there is a clear delineation between his 10 oldest brothers and him. (The youngest who is younger than Joseph is not really mentioned until later).
Then, just to give us example and contrast we are given the story of Judah. Right smack dab in the middle of Joseph's story we are taken aside and told about Judah first. Here is a man who is NOT looking to do the right thing. His first two children displeased and angered God. He did not consult God on where to live, where to take a wife, or how to conduct his life. There is not mention one time that Judah has God on his mind at all. Then he deceives his daughter in law and robes her of her rightful inheritance. This action wasn't just about loosing a husband. In ancient culture a woman with no husband or son was in poverty. He literally was robbing her.
Notice: BOTH stories involve how a man deals with sexual issues. One who has no right to withhold withholds and is cursed. One who has no right to give withholds and is BLESSED. God cares how women are treated. But more importantly he cares about how we mind Him and His BLESSING and His ways in all we do. It's not just about having a servants heart, that is merely part of it.
Ultimately the common denominator with Jesus and Joseph is that both had God and God's ways on their mind. Constantly. We must have our mind saturated with the Word of God and His BLESSING. This doesn't just mean thinking about bible verses, although this is important. It means having THE BLESSING in mind in all decisions. When you speak about that person, customer, co-worker, table, whoever is involved. Are you speaking to them/about them in Love? With THE BLESSING as your motivation? Let THE BLESSING affect your words, actions, etc...
THAT will cause the breakthrough you are waiting for. If you find yourself depressed at work, angry at people or situations... it's because you are not operating with THE BLESSING as your primary thought and motivation.
I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!
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Darrell G. Wolfe
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