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Marks of True Greatness

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 13, 2021 12:00 am

Marks of True Greatness

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 13, 2021 12:00 am

What the world considers great is different than what the Bible considers great. Joseph was great in the world's eyes because he was second in command of Egypt. He had the palace and the servants and the leadership. But Joseph was great in God's eyes long before that. Why? Find out now.

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I know two things about his vision for symbolic of God's faithfulness. He made his brothers where verse 25 thing God will surely take care of you. He also was confident of his future. You know, the last part of verse 25 he says and you shall carry my bones up here. He said Ludwig God finally fulfills the promise of the land. Don't leave me in Egypt bring my body. I want to be there. See how good he die with such because Joseph lived with such past messages. Stephen has been working through a series on the life of Joseph. He was the favored son of his father, but he was resented by his brothers. His brothers sold him into slavery, but he became the Prince of Egypt. It was then that he was reunited with her brothers that sold him and the father that grieved over him today in this final lesson will look at the end of Joseph's life through everything he's faced Joseph was a man of great character Stevens calling this message, marks of true greatness is recorded several individuals who have adopted the name great. If you have been a follower of history, or if you just simply gone through your historical courses in high school or college you have learned of Peter the Great he had adopted that name out of some ambitious thought that he was great, yet if you studied his life closely you will discover the Peter the Great had a maniac will temper and fits of rage that would one day even kill his son. Another individual we know of is Alexander the great. He adopted that name as well and you know that he conquered empires and rule the known world. And yet, Alexander the great who conquered world could not conquer his own flesh, and he would be given to drunken brawl, one of which killed his favorite friend and his general colitis. Herod also called himself the great you know him from New Testament times and he was the man who built the temple and organize the nation and yet Herod was given to fits of jealousy that would take the lives of his wife and his children less. They dare take his throne what the world may consider great is something other than what the Bible may consider great and what man marks his greatness may seem totally different than what God marks as greatness as we bid farewell to Joseph, a man who is been a delight for us to study over these past few weeks. I want to back up into some of the passages we have already looked at and then take us to the end of this book and take a look at that greatness that is true in the life and character of Joseph and from this I want to give you seven marks of true greatness. Joseph's greatness is seen first of all, in his commitment to using authority wisely. Look at chapter 4631 of Genesis Genesis chapter 46 verse 31 is greatness is seen first in his commitment to using authority wisely. Joseph said to his brothers.

Verse 31 into his father's household, I will go up until Pharaoh and will say to him, my brothers and my father's household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. You know the story of how they have finally been reunited Joseph in verse 32 says to his brothers. I will tell Pharaoh that the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock and they brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have and it shall come about when Pharaoh calls you and says what is your occupation, you shall say your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now. Both we and our fathers, that you may live in the land of Goshen you will underline that that you may live in the land of Goshen. That's the purpose of this interview. For every Shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians. It's interesting that Joseph and greatness never abuses his authority. Not now, not before and not after. He will rule as premier in this land for nearly 100 years and now we find Joseph introducing his brothers and his father to Pharaoh they come into the land and Joseph obviously wants to take good care of his family.

Maybe shepherds must settle in the only place that can incapacitate sheet that is the valley land. The Delta region known as Goshen.

But Joseph being the greatest authority other than Pharaoh in the land has every right as every potential of telling his brothers say settlement Goshen and don't worry about a thing.

I'll handle the rest on the premier on the Prime Minister. What I say goes. We won't worry about Pharaoh is my trusted friend who cares what the people might say they know you are being given the most for how region in Egypt and a famine is in the land but don't worry about then you just go live in Goshen hit every opportunity to abuse his authority and yet he says to his brothers go to Pharaoh. Let's let it be Pharaoh's decision later in the 47th chapter we discover the Pharaoh. In fact, says go live in the land of Goshen and we kind of chuckle because he probably takes credit for the file Joseph and given the thought and that he allowed Pharaoh to make the decision. One of the most discouraging things out in the working force is working for an employee boss a foreman a straw boss, the president of a company or an unsympathetic vice president who constantly and continually abuses authority and tragically so the individual who may call himself a Christian finds himself in authority and we can't help but stand back and think man alive did they ever change once they were given a position why them before and they never talk like that. They never did things like that but now you can't come within arms reach. They say that the greatest test of a man or woman's character is authority given individual.

Some authority see how they respond and you will note if they have true greatness. The second thing that strikes me and impresses me about Joseph is that he has a willingness to live humbly, but look at the next few verses. Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, my father, my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have have come out of the land of Canaan Boulder in the land of Goshen there waiting your final approval when he took five brothers.

He presented them to Pharaoh. Now remember their lives him to Pharaoh to the Egyptians then Pharaoh said to his brothers. What is your occupation so they said the Pharaoh.

Your servants are shepherds both we and our fathers.

I can't help but wonder what Joseph is doing about this time as he standing next to his brothers in these, perhaps thinking I don't mention that you don't say something like we deal in large tracts of real estate or a something, don't mention that your shepherds because there was in fact we have discovered archaeologists have art dating back to the time of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob from Egypt and the art depicts on occasion shepherds and they are always pictured as emaciated, evil, wicked kinds of people.

For some reason we don't all of the reasons they were loathsome. They were hated they were despised. This was the lowest caste in society and some of that carries through even into the New Testament with a Jew and it's interesting that God would come and give the message that his son was born to the shepherds. Here we see an interesting characteristic in Markham Joseph's character. He is willing to live with the knowledge rampant in that kingdom that he is from the line of shepherds is fathers a shepherd his brothers are shepherds. I can imagine him hearing or thinking that the people will say, will we follow a shepherd. Will we obey this premier who now we know is on their shepherd a keeper of sheep, I think he in fact risks his credibility with the people by being honest by being humble. Someone wrote well one who knows God. Well will be humble, one who knows himself well will never be proud of for market strikes me of his characters that he had the ability to administrate honestly look at verse 13. The ability to administrate honestly. Chapter 47 verse 13.

Now there was no food in all the land of family common was very severe so that the land of Egypt, and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine and Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grave which they bought and Joseph brought the money in the Pharaoh's house.

Note that well. He brought the money into Pharaoh's house, and when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said give us food for. Why should we die in your presence for money is all gone and Joseph said will give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone. In other words, this welfare system is not a handout.

They had something in exchange for the food they were going to give it until finally there money was gone and her livestock was gone as well. But what strikes me about that passage that we often overlook is the simple fact that Joseph was handling virtually the gross national product he was handling all of the money in his hands. He had the key to the pantry. He was the one who was the meal ticket for the entire nation and he brought all of their money to him. I imagine that literally millions of dollars in gold and silver trickled through Joseph hands and what he do with all did what he was supposed to do. He brought it into his superiors house. If there was ever a time in Joseph's life or he could've patted his account where he could've thought of retiring early. This wasn't Goldmine.

I am unaccountable. I am having people come to me and say Joseph will do anything for you, will give you all of our money just for food here take our livestock and Joseph allows himself to be a funnel that is a mark of character administrating.

Honestly, George Mueller, who has been mentioned often from this pulpit was a man who took care in his lifetime of 10,000 orphans. They say that more than $8 million came to George Mueller as a result of prayer and yet when he died. They tallied up his accounts and he owned less than thousand dollars that was to his name, another Old Testament character that strikes me as Nehemiah, who is building the walls of Jerusalem and the world cannot figure out why anybody would build the wall restore a city without some kind of financial manipulation and mine. Why would you build the kingdom. If you are going to become wealthy from the kingdom, and Nehemiah's are building the wall and finally the enemy say they have all we know why you're building that wall because you want to be governor. You want to receive the salary of a governor, and he said, in effect, I have not and I will not receive all of the benefit being in the configured Cinderella until Brian guess were scratching their heads outside the wall thing that what makes Nehemiah to. They must've been thinking what the world makes Joseph to we can't figure this guy that ladies and gentlemen when you're unaccountable when you have all the opportunity the potential the alibi when you're alone with yourself. Are you honest. The fourth thing that strikes me as his desire to serve others unselfishly look at chapter 47 verse 23 Joseph said to the people hold I am today.

Bought you and they have become, in effect, tenant farmers is something like a feudal system of the Middle Ages here. Now nobody does he receive for you that you may so the land it's interesting with this country comes to the end of their famine. The people still have their dignity and their self-respect because Joseph was serving the people with them in mind. He says in verse 24 and at the harvest. Give 1/5 to the Pharaoh, a 20% tax for fifth shall be your own proceed in the field and for your food and for those of your household and is food for your little ones. It's interesting that many liberal commentators will poke Joseph at this account. In fact, many literatures given to scriptural exposition will begin chapter 47 at verse 27, though, skip this whole passage because they're just convinced that Joseph is now out for himself and yet archaeology once again is helped us because neighboring countries exercise more than 50% tax people were often demanded to give half of the produce half of their money to the kings and Joseph is in a sensei I'll take just 20% enough to handle the administrative affairs enough to keep the system going will take care of your cattle will provide the seed, you give us one for in light of what was taking place.

Joseph was amazingly compassionate and unselfish. He served the people with them in mind affect verse 25 says if there's any doubt, they said to him you have saved our lives not you have been uncompassionate not you have been desirous of taking all that we have no say to him you have saved our lives. Let us find favor in the sight of my Lord and we will be your slave. That is, we will serve you faithfully.

One of the greatest marks seen in the character of Jesus Christ was that they in John chapter 13 where he was in the upper room in the big thought of the apostles minds was her disciples. At that point was the question Lord is going to be the greatest in the kingdom. What they were really wondering was what does God consider great what is the mark of character that he rarely takes note of well-being among us then the greatest and as you well know Jesus Christ there in that room as they had already reclined to eat. No one wanting to wash the feet of the other. The slaves were not there and they didn't even wash their own feet, which strikes me, Jesus Christ takes his down and he girds it up around him and he takes a towel and he goes in the Peter and he takes his feet and he puts it in the basin faces Peter, I want to wash your feet and Peter in the text literally draws his feet up and he says now you can't wash my feet and the Lord gives them a theological lesson in being in Christ, and finally Peter acknowledges his sovereignty allows him to wash his feet and Jesus Christ goes around the room and washes 24 dirty feet, and I imagine in that room.

You could've heard a pin drop. Only the splashing of water in the basin and the dropping of tears as they ran off the ends of the noses cheeks of the disciples of the sector and watched true's world measures greatness by how many people serve you. God measures greatness by how many people use or another mark that strikes me as his transparency and grieving openly look at chapter 49. What start back with verse 29 then he charged them, this is Jacob on his deathbed saying I'm about to be gathered to my people bury me with my father's Abraham and Isaac in the cave which is in the field of E from the Hittite and in the cave that is in the field of math Taylor which is in memory in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field for me from the Hittite for burial site. There they had very Abraham and his wife, Sarah, Isaac and his wife Rebecca and their I have very left the field of the cave that is in it purchased from the sons of Hess. When Jacob finished charging his sons.

He drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and he was gathered to his people. What will Joseph do now, great man that he is a man who was trusted God in his sovereignty and an unwavering faith. How will he respond with a smile saying wonderful things when his father's now Lorimer see one day in heaven.

No, he had the transparency to grieve. Look at verse one. Then Joseph fell on his father's face and wept over him and kissed and Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to involve his father, now 40 days were required for it.

Verse three, such as the period required for embalming but note, the Egyptians wept for him for 70 days at that on another 30 in morning and grieving for him.

Verse seven.

So Joseph went up to bury his father and with him when all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household. All the elders of the land of Egypt in the household of Joseph and his brothers in his father's household verse 10 when they came to the threshing floor make that which is beyond the Jordan.

They lamented there was a very grave and sorrowful lamentation, and he observed seven more days morning for his father and when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, all the morning at the threshing floor.

They said they said this is a grandiose morning for the Egyptians. Therefore, it was named a Bell. Ms. Wright M which means weeping, which is beyond the Jordan, the world would say something like the spectacle that is weakness.

Christianity would say that's unspiritual all I tend to believe there are people within the body of Jesus Christ to need cry who were bottling things up difficulties, resentments, deaths, and been told by the spiritual side the dough. I remember being at my father-in-law's funeral and my mother-in-law sitting in a chair with a tissue and a relative coming in who supposedly knew the Lord and say well there's no need to cry yourself to we missed what Joseph had.

He was secure enough in his faith in God that he was able to grieve and weep.

I remember reading of Jesus Christ, as you will know who went the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus Christ, who looked over the city of Jerusalem and he weeping said all Jerusalem choppers.

It is strength to reveal those emotions that weakness six. He had a capacity to forgive graciously.

One of the most beautiful texts in the book of Genesis is found after Jacob dies in Joseph's brothers are afraid that now Joseph will have a vindictive attitude and send them to death and they come to Joseph in verse 17, saying please forgive. I beg you the transgression of your brothers and their sins, for they did you wrong, please forgive and they fell down before him and they said look for your servants Joseph in verse 19, Joseph said to them, to not be afraid for them IN God's place, God meant it for good. In order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive.

Therefore, no be afraid.

I will provide for you and your little remember the capacity to forgive like this. Ladies and gentlemen is dependent upon our ability to see God at work in the lives of other people, so that when someone impacts me in a certain way when someone may criticize when someone may say something to tear down when someone may attack you. When someone may be less than gracious. They are tools in God's hands to develop you, Joseph viewed his brothers as tools in the hand of God to bring about this great result. Finally, Joseph is great and it is seen in his confidence in dying as a visionary pilot's verse 22 Joseph stayed in Egypt in his father's household and Joseph lived to be 110 and Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim, sons, and also the sons of Matt here, the son of Manasseh, that is Esau's great grandsons born at his knees. He was there and Joseph said to his brothers. I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which he has promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob and I stop Isaac a lot of Joseph gave a covenant promise to Abraham that he would be a great nation, and Abraham had one son he repeated the covenant promise to Isaac. I will make you a great nation, and he had to sign and to Jacob again and he had 12 nations.

A tribe of 70 and you're holding. Joseph died a visionary. I know two things about his vision. First of all, it's of God's faithfulness.

He made his brothers swear verse 25 saying God will surely take care of you, but he also was confident of Israel's future. Would you know the last part of verse 25 he says and you shall carry my bones up from.

He said Ludwig God finally fulfills the promise of the land totally legal. Egypt bring my body. I want to be there God will fulfill his promise say how can he die with such invasion because Joseph lived with such vision would be like the dialogue Joseph.

The question is, do we live like Joseph is one said or are we chained to the status quo afraid to try to risk the change to go to do something that we feel God may want us to do.

Where is vision living a life with vision will determine the way we die.

I will book in my study that I read periodically. It reminds me of the brevity of my own life for me read you the statements of some men who spoke their last words on their deathbed.

One was an unbeliever that are read from really is a dramatist and composer who spoke like Shakespearean and rogue like him. He wrote this before he died.

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury. Wife signifies not men who lived 50 years prior to this man, Isaac Watts, who wrote when I survey the wondrous Cross know God, our help in ages past.

Listen to his dying testimony. He says quote is a great mercy that I have no manner of fear or dread of death, I can lay my head back and died without tear this afternoon. Which he did.

Martin Luther, the mom shook the world conceived Protestantism that you and I enjoy today as he was lying on his deathbed with his closest friends about him. He repeated three times, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Thou hast redeemed me oh God of truth, into thy hands I commend my spirit that has redeemed me oh God of truth as he breathed his last. He repeated John 316, and that his favorite verse Psalm 6820. Our God is the God whom, salvation, God is the Lord, by whom we escaped. I want to die like but you know what it takes.

It takes living, allowing the Holy Spirit to stamp upon our character. The marks of true great using authority for those here that have it wisely is apparent or as an employer administrating honestly serving others grieving openly forgiving, gracious greatness. Men and women is not developing great empires, but developing great and godly character. Greatness is not in leading men but leading our lives in such a way that God is pleased greatness by our world standards is not receiving the applause of men. It is receiving the approval of God. The last verse says so Joseph died at the age of 110 years he was involved in placed temporarily. Mind you, in a coffin in Egypt. End of chapter in the book that I have come to love, but it is not the end of the story because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Joseph is aligns and he is just as available to stamp upon your character and mine marks true great powerful challenge being like Joseph is what we want isn't for God to stamp the marks of true greatness on our hearts. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi.

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