Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard about you, that you can interpret dreams.” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, but God will speak concerning the welfare of Pharaoh.” (Genesis 41:15-16 NET)
The story of Joseph is one of the most remarkable in all of Scripture. He was hated by his brothers, who coolly ate their meal while debating whether or not to kill him and finally decided to sell Joseph for the price of a slave. After serving Potiphar faithfully and well, Joseph was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. Joseph languished in prison for two additional years after speaking prophetic words of comfort and restoration to Pharoah’s cupbearer, only to have the cupbearer forget his promise to plead Joseph’s case to Pharaoh. And yet after everything that had happened to him, Joseph’s first thought when he stood before Pharaoh was to give glory to God.
The parallels between the life of Joseph and the life of Christ are numerous and unmistakable. Like Joseph, Jesus was hated by His Jewish brethren, who constantly looked for opportunities to falsely accuse of Him of blasphemy and heresy. Ultimately Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot for the going price of a slave. Witnesses who could not even get their stories to agree brought false testimony against Him. After three years of ministry to the people of Israel, teaching the Word of God and healing them of every type of disease, the “thank you” He received was the harsh cries of a frenzied mob screaming, “Crucify!” And yet when the high priest demanded of Jesus to “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God,” Jesus gave glory to His Father in heaven:
Yes, it is as you say . . . But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:63-64)
And at the very end, as Jesus hung on that cruel cross, He again gave glory to God, saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Both Joseph and Jesus experienced betrayal, hardship, and pain, and yet the glory of God was at the front of their minds and on the tip of their tongues. How is it with you and me? Do we keep the glory of God front-of-mind also, even when everything seems to be going against us?
That is what we are called to do. We are to declare His praises no matter what may lie before us, as 1 Peter 2:9 instructs us:
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God raised us from death to life. He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. We should declare His praises at every opportunity!
This attitude of irrepressible joy is wonderfully captured by the words of the hymn, “To God Be the Glory.”
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro’ Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
Fanny Crosby, who wrote that marvelous anthem of praise, lost her sight when she was six weeks old. Yet she penned more than 8,000 Gospel hymns, including the incomparable “Blessed Assurance.” One day a well-meaning but shortsighted visitor told Ms. Crosby that it seemed odd that, although God had blessed her with such extraordinary talent, He had not seen fit to restore her sight. Fanny Crosby promptly replied that if she could have asked the Creator God one favor at birth, she would have asked to be born blind, because, she explained, “When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight shall be that of my Savior.”
God has called us out of darkness and brought us into His glorious light. May our words and our countenance reflect His glorious, life-giving light to everyone we meet.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!