39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
There is a very interesting thread in the life of Joseph. When we are introduced to him, though he is the last born, he is his father’s favorite son. After he is sold off as a slave, he ends up in Potiphar’s house and though he is a slave, within no time he is placed in charge of the whole household. All report to him except his master’s wife. When he is falsely accused of attempted rape, he ends up in prison and even there he still rises to the top and he is put in charge of all the prisoners. As they say, oil will always float on water.
Now we meet him in the palace and what I find interesting is that in his first interaction with the king, the king recognizes that he is a gifted leader and manager and he immediately gives him power and authority.
With all the injustices that have been done to him, how will Joseph handle power? The only person he was now accountable to was Pharaoh. What will he do to Potiphar and his wife? Would he use the power for personal gain?
Many today use their positions and the power that comes with it for personal gain and to oppress others but not Joseph. In Potiphar’s house he had passed the test of stewardship management and purity. He had proven that he can be faithful with not only another man’s property but also his wife. In Prison he had also passed the test of stewardship and how to relate with those who are considered low in society.
Power and the palace did not change him. It just enhanced what was already in him His character had been proved in Potiphar’s house and prison to qualify him for the palace.
Joseph was able to create and administer a plan that saved the world from starvation and also make the kingdom of Egypt very prosperous because the world would come to buy grain from Egypt. He was not in this for personal gain he was focused on serving the people.
How do you handle power? Does a little power and authority get into your head and activate evil in you so that you become selfish, greedy and rude thinking that because of your position you are better than others and you must be served by all? May we learn from Joseph and come to the realization that God has put you in that position so that you can serve and influence people to him.
Like Joseph I will use the power and authority delegated to me to serve and not suppress the people. As Jesus said, he who wishes to be the greatest must be the servant of all.