Psalm 105:17 - 22 “and he sent a man before them-- Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles; his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true. The king sent and released him; the ruler of peoples set him free. He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.”
Psalm 105 reveals a pattern that the Lord uses for preparing His people for leadership. It is called “the way up is down”. In this psalm the author states the Lord is faithful to His covenant to the 1000th generation. He then explains there was a famine in the land of Canaan, which would force His people to go to Egypt. But verse 17 picks up the narrative with the fact that God has already sent a man before them to lead them during this troubled time.
Joseph had dreamed that his family would bow before him. The two dreams did not endear him to his brothers. It was bad enough for them that their father favored Joseph above the rest. To have him prophesying to them that he would rule over them was too much to bear. Joseph saw the prophesy as his destiny. In the worldly sense we would think our destiny would be fulfilled through favor and promotion to higher and higher positions of responsibility. But not so with God!
Leadership preparation God’s style for Joseph included betrayal by his brothers, slavery in a foreign land and imprisonment through false accusation. Imagine what Joseph must have thought throughout this process. How would you do if it were you? How would you keep your love on then?
He would have doubted his dreams. It would have seemed inconceivable to him to be their leader when he was a slave. But even worst he ends up in prison. Great! What’s the point of being faithful to God?
But prison was exactly the place he needed to be in the Lord’s plans to exalt him not only to a leader over his family but a leader over all of Egypt. All the time in slavery and prison were shaping and proving his character and positioning him humbly before the Lord. Peter in his first letter says: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5,6) This grace is His divine influence upon your heart and it’s outward working. Joseph went from an attitude of “it’s all about me” to one of “its all about Him”.
We need to trust our Heavenly Father knows the best route for us to fulfill our destiny. It may seem downward and completely opposite to what you expected but let it draw you to your knees in surrender before Him and He will lift you up.
Prayer: “Father, I trust you and your plans for my life. I surrender my life to you and believe you will fulfill all my dreams in Jesus’ name. Amen!”