A character stood out it me in Genesis recently. I had never thought of this person before, but now I’m learning lessons from him.
He’s mentioned in Genesis 43 and 44 – Joseph’s steward. He was Egyptian, most likely. He had no doubt seen the suddenly, somewhat shocking rise of this man known as Zaphenathpaneah to the Egyptians.
Mr “Z” is remembered by us as Joseph. The favorite son of his father, Jacob. The brazen dreamer who blurted revelations without thinking of the repercussions. A young man of iron integrity in the face of depravity. Divine favor rested on him even in prision. He saved the entire world from starvation, with God’s wisdom.
And behold the man who served Joseph – his steward. We don’t know his name, but we see his integrity. His faithfulness.
Imagine, serving such a wise man… and at the apprearing of a band of brothers, he seemed to go biserck. Read Genesis 41-45 carefully. Notice all the interesting things Joseph did to test his brothers. He pried open their hearts to see if they were repentant.
Go back in time and imagine yourself in Joseph’s house for a moment. Of all the people who come to buy grain from your master, this particular family gets special attention. They are thrown in prison yet later dine in your master’s house. Their money is returned to them as a secret favor. Then, your master sets them up. WHAT?!
“AND HE commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, with his grain money. And [the steward] did according to what Joseph had said.”
Genesis 44:1-2 AMPC
This steward was a true servant. He understood what it meant to obey without understanding. There’s no record of him complaining or asking questions. He just did what was asked of him.
Now, imagine what might have happened if this steward hadn’t obeyed. What if he had told these men from Cannan what his master had done? What if he hadn’t obeyed Joseph and hadn’t gone after the brothers? Chapter 44 and onwards would have played out much differently.
And my eyes turn towards my own “steward’s heart.” I picture myself as a steward in the house of my Lord, Jesus of Nazareth. Do I obey so willingly without understanding each and every instruction? Is my faith and obedience opperating as that of a trusted servant?
I understand I’m also his daughter and part of the bride of Christ, but the New Testiment also talks of us as being servants and slaves as well. It’s not to be demeaning, but instead it shows us God’s role and our role. Our role is to obey; also to “keep asking…keep seeking…keep knocking…” (Matthew 7:7) when appropriate.
Could I be thwarting my masters’ plans by my disobedience?
Even when God told Abraham to sacrifice Issac, which went against God’s character to ask for a human sacrifice, still Abraham obeyed. The more I read, the more I see that God’s people are often put in spiritually sticky and confusing situations.
Esther was taken by a pagan king and made to be with him before marriage. (Esther 2.) A good Jewish girl’s nightmare. What would God think? He showed her favor and used her willingness and humility to deliver all of God’s people. Ironic.
Jesus “worked” (according to the religious leaders interpretation of the law) on the Sabbath. That didn’t make sense. Yet we know, he wasn’t wrong!
I wonder how many times God asks His people to do things that don’t make sense to our understanding of Him. Forget “comfort zone”, how many Christians are really living in “God’s zone”? Obeying without hesitation.
Of course, knowing God intimately, hearing and listening closely to His voice comes first. We can’t obey if we don’t know what He’s saying. Thankfully, we have His written word. As Joy Dawson says, God can choose to only speak through His written word to me every time. The word of God is enough for every situation we ask about or need wisdom on. Of course we know God speaks to us in other ways too, but if we haven’t experienced or don’t know how to listen for that yet, the written word is the place to go reguardless.
So today, I’m asking…am I obeying my master? Are my fellow servants listening and obeying? Or are we thwarting our Master’s plans, delaying what He wants accomplished because of our stupor.