The Joseph Company

Part 2

Joseph's Father Favored Him, Clothing Him With a Special Garment That Made Him Stand Out Among His Brethren!

Does our heavenly Father favor certain of His children? Or doesn't the Bible say God is no respecter of persons?

When it comes to eternal salvation and His wonderful covenant promises, God treats all alike. But God also responds to all who respond wholeheartedly to His calling. He puts His special favor on those who yield their lives to Him entirely!

Job said: “Thou hast granted me life and favor” (Job l0:l2). And David said: “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:l2). “Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong” (30:7). Scripture also tells us: “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men” (l Samuel 2:26).

The fact is, our heavenly Father puts a special garment on those who seek after Him and give Him their heart completely. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 6l:l0).

Joseph responded to the Spirit's call, surrendering all – and he received favor from his father. He was given a robe that set him apart. But, that favor of his father was costly. It cost Joseph every relationship. It brought him rejection, misunderstanding, mockery: “All his brethren hated him.” (Genesis 37:4).

Why did Joseph's brothers turn on him? The key is in verse ll: “His brethren envied him.” When they saw the robe Joseph wore, they knew it spoke of favor, righteousness. And they hated it – because it reminded them of the Spirit's call they had rejected! Joseph was a reproach to their half-hearted lifestyle!

You see, Joseph's brothers sat around trading in petty gossip and self-centered talk. Their hearts were occupied with land, possessions, their future. But, Joseph's mind was elsewhere. He spoke of the things of God, of supernatural dealings. God had given him dreams, which in that day was synonymous with hearing the voice of God.

Yes, Joseph was of a different cloth – and that difference made him hated and envied among his brothers. And, beloved, the same thing will happen to you if you have sold out to Jesus!

Lukewarm believers around you will want to talk about their cars, houses and jobs – but you'd rather talk about eternal things, about what God is saying to you. Soon you'll become a reproach to their half-heartedness. They'll envy you – because you represent the call of the Holy Ghost that they have turned down!

Indeed, those of the Joseph Company remnant know all about rejection. They know the pain of being tagged a fanatic, a spiritual kook, an “unbalanced believer”. Even preachers mock them, calling their separation and devotion to Jesus 'spiritual pride'. They tell their congregation, “This one is too far out. God does not expect such fanaticism!”

          1. Joseph's Greatest Trial Was the Word of God He so Loved and Trusted!

He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him” (Psalm l05:17-19). Joseph was tested and tried in many ways – but his greatest trial was the word he had received!

Consider everything Joseph endured: At only seventeen, he was stripped down and cast into a pit to starve to death. His cold-hearted brothers laughed at his pleas for mercy. He was sold to Ishmaelite traders, taken by caravan to an Egyptian slave market and then sold as a common slave.

Yet Joseph's greatest trial wasn't his rejection by his brothers. It wasn't the human indignity of being made into a slave or being cast into prison. No – Joseph was confused and tried in spirit by the clear word he had heard from God!

God had revealed to Joseph through dreams that he would be given great authority, and that he would use it for God's glory. His brothers would bow before him – even the sun, moon and stars would bow! He would be a great deliverer of many people.

Yet, I believe none of this was an ego trip for Joseph. His heart was so set on God that this word instead gave him a humble sense of destiny: “Lord, You have put Your hand on me to have a part in Your great eternal plan. Oh God – Why choose me? Joseph was blessed just by knowing he would play an important role in bringing God's will to pass!

But all the circumstances in Joseph's life were just the opposite of what God had put in his heart. He was the servant – he had to bow! How could he hold to such a word from God, that he would one day deliver multitudes, when he was a slave himself? He must have thought, “This doesn't make sense, 'How could God be 'ordering my steps' into prison – into oblivion? He said I was going to be blessed. He didn't tell me this was going to happen!'

For ten years Joseph served in Potiphar's house faithfully – but in the end he was misjudged and lied about. His

victory over temptation with Potiphar's wife only landed him in jail. During such times he must have pondered the awful questions.

“Did I hear correctly? Or did my pride invent these dreams? Could my brothers have been right – that I'm too given over to this word? Maybe all these things are happening to me as discipline for some kind of selfish desire...”

Beloved, there have times when God has shown me things He has wanted for me – ministry, service, usefulness – yet my every circumstance was the very opposite of that word. At such times I thought, “Oh God, this can't be You speaking – it has to be my flesh.” I was being tried by God's word to me!

*I know a dear pastor who is being tried by God's Word. He believes what the Bible says about healing – yet, for the past five years he has watched his wife deteriorate with a rare disease. He prays for the sick at his church – and then he comes home to feed, dress and bathe his wife. He believes God for her healing, yet she grows worse every day. Yet, I see revealed in this man the grace and patience of Christ. He is one of the most loving, caring man of God I have ever met. The tenderness he shows his wife now comes out in his ministry to his congregation.

*A dear sister wrote recently that over a year ago she finally determined to go all the way with Jesus. God began to reveal Christ in her – yet soon afterward, she discovered her husband was seeing prostitutes. He was staying out every night in bars and brothels. This woman was forced to leave her home and get a job to support her three children. The more devoted she became to Christ, the more her husband turned away from God. She couldn't understand why, when she set her heart on Christ, such an awful tragedy would happen. But I sensed in her letter a power, a heavenly strength.

She too is being tried by the Word! God has given her His promises – yet her circumstances are the exact opposite!

Even in the Midst of Every Trial and Hard Place, God Prospers His Joseph Company!

Even while Joseph was a servant in Potiphar's house, he was blessed by God. And soon after he landed in prison, he prospered there as well. How did God prosper him? It wasn't with money or possessions; it wasn't with position. No-- all along, God was prospering Joseph's spirit – speaking to his heart, giving him dreams and interpretations!

This is what kept Joseph going on with God. He had faith that, in spite of all his hardships and situations beyond his control, God was with him. Joseph was never for a moment without the manifest presence of the Lord –and that constant, abiding presence produced a peace within him.

I believe God must have longed to show Joseph the end of the story – to whisper to him, “Don't worry, Joseph. This is how it's going to end..”But He dared not –because Joseph was still in school.

You see, Joseph didn't know that one day he was going to “teach (Pharaoh's senators wisdom” Psalm l05:22. Yet how could he teach God's wisdom to Egypt's leaders unless he first had learned it himself? God's children learn such lessons only by faith! We get God's wisdom through trials, tribulations, hardships, and testings. We don't pray it down – we live it out!

If you are in God's last-day Joseph Company, then you are learning to lean on Him in your trials. You're learning to trust and not complain – to rest in Him completely. You may not comprehend all the mysterious ways God has led you. In fact, everything around you may seem the very opposite of the word God has given

you. But you are learning that in all things Christ is your resource. And God is keeping you in school for the day when He will call upon you!

Continued in Part 3