Genesis and Leadership #6
Moments of Truth
11 July 2021
Good morning and welcome to “Moments of Truth”, a weekly broadcast brought to you by the brethren of the Pekin church of Christ located at the corner of First Street and Karnes Court in Pekin, Indiana.
Each week, we endeavor to present a portion of God’s Word to help you to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). This morning I am joined by my Dad, good friend and brother in Christ, Ike Goen. He will be doing all of our Scripture reading for us. We also cordially invite you to come and study God’s Word with us. We have Bible Classes for all ages! They begin at 9:45 and are followed by our 10:30 AM Worship and 5 PM Worship. All are invited to come and worship with us. We continue to utilize our Facebook “Live-Stream” capability for all our services. Don’t forget about our daily “Bible Point to Ponder” which is also “Live Streaming” on our Facebook Page at 9 AM Monday through Friday. We hope you will be able to take advantage of all these opportunities to study more of God’s Word.
As well we would also like to ask that you do all you can to remain righteous before God so that your prayers will be heard and answered. James tells us in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
And when you pray, we ask that you remember to pray for all men as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
If you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or 812-896-6613. You can also contact us through our web site at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. We’d also like to offer you a Home Bible study at your convenience as well as a free Bible correspondence course. Our desire is to help you with your walk with God.
Last week we began a journey through the entire Bible to help us see the entire Bible is designed to help the Christian to lead. Beginning with the Book of Genesis we see the fact that the Bible is the book on leadership and It All Began with God the Ultimate Leader! So today we continue our journey through the book of Genesis in the Bible, and we examine: Leadership lessons from Joseph!
From Adam and Eve, Sarah and Abraham, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau and Joseph to include all the lessons’ we ‘ve learned thus far about Leadership from The Leadership Book, we now get to learn more from Joseph.
We noted last week as we journey through the remainder of Genesis, leadership lessons will all be learned from Joseph. This is significant for our walk as Servant Leaders for the Lord because we get to learn from Joseph the Law of Process and the point is Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day. From Genesis 37:1 – Genesis 50:22 we read of Joseph’s leadership development.
Remember what we said, becoming a leader is a lot like investing in the stock market. If you hope to make a fortune in a day, you’re doomed. It’s what you do day by day, over the long haul, that matters most. If you continually develop your leadership, letting your “assets” compound over time, the inevitable result is growth.
Although some individuals have greater natural gifts than others, nearly all the skills of leadership can be learned and improved. But that process doesn’t happen overnight. Leadership has so many faces: respect, experience, emotional
strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, timing – the list goes on. That’s why leaders require so much seasoning to be effective.
The good news is that you can grow in your ability to lead. Regardless of your starting point, you can improve.
Joseph’s life illustrates the Law of Process. We started to observe how time and experience contributed to the development of Joseph’s leadership skills. It comes in four phases. We learned Phase One: I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know; and Phase Two: I Know what I Don’t Know. Now we look at Phase Three: I Know and Grow and It Starts to Show.
To learn about this phase from Joseph, we have to pay close attention to all the things that transpired from the moment Joseph was thrown into prison by Potiphar. It begins by reading Genesis 39:21-23, “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.” Two times in this section of Scripture we read the phrase, “The Lord was with Joseph.” In order to grasp the growth of Joseph is to appreciate his relationship with God. Because of Joseph’s faithfulness, the Lord continued with him, even in prison! It reminds us of Psalm 139:7-10, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”
If you noticed from our text, even in Prison, Joseph had great success. He could be completely trusted, for in verse 23 we learn that the “keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority…” meaning, he didn’t worry about anything with Joseph leading the prisoners. The Lord was with Joseph even when the baker and butler of the King of Egypt were imprisoned. Many are familiar with this story, but just in case we want to read through this section to see what God does with Joseph in relation to these two men and how, Joseph, even though he explains dreams for them, they neglect him. Notice Genesis 40:8-23, “And they said to him, "We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." So Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please." 9 Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, 10 "and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11 "Then Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12 And Joseph said to him, "This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. 13 "Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. 14 "But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. 15 "For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon." 16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. 17 "In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on
my head." 18 So Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. 19 "Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you." 20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”
From this story we get to see Joseph growing into Phase three of the Law of the Process. Joseph goes through this in order for us to continue to see his growth and the way the Good Lord uses him to ultimately save lives! (we will learn about that point later on). Anyway, we saw how Joseph, provided some answers to the two men’s dreams, and Joseph continues to give the glory to God, remember his question, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” Again, Joseph did a kindness and even asked for a kindness to be returned, however, he was forgotten for two years as we will see in Genesis 41. When Joseph is finally remembered, the Lord being with him, enables him to once again be successful and we see Joseph become second in command of all of Egypt! We will begin in Genesis 41:9. This is after Pharoah tells of his dream and there is no one to interpret it for him and finally the chief butler remembers Joseph. Listen closely to the interpretation and tact Joseph uses to share with the Pharaoh as well as give the glory to God. We read Genesis 41:9-36, “Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: "I remember my faults this day. 10 "When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, 11 "we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us
dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 "Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 "And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him." 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it." 16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace." 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: "Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18 "Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19 "Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 "And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21 "When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 "Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 "Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 "And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me." 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 "The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 "And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of
famine. 28 "This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 "Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 "but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 "So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32 "And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33 "Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 "Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 "And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 "Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine."
At this point in our study as we watch Joseph grow, we get to see him, continue to give Glory to God. Joseph takes none of the credit for interpreting the dream of Pharoah. And as we will see, in Genesis 41:37-57 Joseph’s maturity thoroughly increases. Clearly the Lord is with him. And as things progress, Joseph never forgets to Glorify God. “So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 "You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you." 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph,
"See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, "Bow the knee!" So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. 46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable. 50 And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: "For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim: "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." 53 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do." 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and
Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.”
From interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, to the advice he gave Pharoah to deal with the famine, to his promotion to second in command of the mightiest nation on the earth at the time, to Pharoah giving him his daughter to wed. We remember the arrogant teenager, who was scolded by his father, hated by his brothers, thrown in to a pit, then sold into slavery; rise to a position of authority in Potiphar’s house, to being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. Becoming completely trusted in the prison to interpreting dreams for two prisoners and finally standing before Pharoah. It clearly defines Phase Three: I Know and Grow and It Starts to Show. Leaders who show great skill when opportunities arise, shine only because they’ve paid the price of preparation. When Pharaoh finally called Joseph, the young man performed with excellence and great wisdom. He didn’t succeed because he suddenly got good at age 30; he succeeded because he paid the price for 13 years. Joseph’s hard-won wisdom and discernment got him promoted to second in command of what was then the most powerful nation on earth.
Let’s remember some things from last week about Joseph, maturity doesn’t happen overnight. God wants to watch us grow and develop. A story like Joseph is a perfect example for us to pay attention to for the benefit of our own growth to maturity with God. Joseph’s story begins with challenges. Right out of the gate with Joseph we learn that problems never paralyze great leaders; they know that solutions usually exist. The Scripture shows that Joseph accomplished much because throughout his life and experiences we see he enjoyed:
1. A significant vision from God (37:5, 6, 9-11). As a youth, Joseph knew God had something special in mind for him.
00000 2. A vital relationship with God (39:2, 21, 23). Scripture says that “The Lord was with” Joseph.
3. A strong character developed through difficulties (39:7, 8). With each new trial, Joseph grew stronger.
4. Practical experience gained through life (39:2). Joseph grew in ability and experience when he took charge of the prison.
5. A special giftedness from God (41:15, 16). Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams enabled him to make a difference in many lives.
6. A unique blessing from God (39:3-5). Four times in the Bible expresses God’s blessing of Joseph with some version of, “Whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper” (Gen. 39:2, 3, 21, 23).
As we journey through the remainder of Genesis, leadership lessons will all be learned from Joseph. This is significant for our walk as Servant Leaders for the Lord because we get to learn from Joseph the Law of Process and the point is Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day. Remember Phase One of Joseph’s growth: I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know. Everyone starts out in a state of ignorance. That’s where Joseph began. He didn’t understand the dynamics of his family. Either he couldn’t imagine how his brothers might react when he described his dream, or he didn’t care. The Scripture says his brothers already hated him; when he described his dream, they hated him even more. Joseph did and said things without understanding the interpersonal issues involved. His ignorance cost him more than two decades of alienation from his family. Phase Two of Joseph’s growth: I Know What I Don’t Know. It took a life-changing incident to capture Joseph’s attention and start him on the road to change. Thrust into slavery in Egypt, he began to learn what he didn’t know. He came to understand that leadership is difficult and carries a huge weight of responsibility. Over the years, Joseph suffered betrayal and learned hard lessons in human nature,, and leadership. The process molded his character, granting him both patience and humility. Eventually he recognized God as his source of blessing and power. Now we’ve learned Phase Three: I Know and Grow and It Starts to Show. Leaders who show great skill when opportunities arise, shine only because they’ve paid the price of preparation. When Pharaoh finally called Joseph, the young man performed with excellence and great wisdom. He didn’t succeed because he suddenly got good at age 30; he succeeded because he paid the price for 13 years. Joseph’s hard-won wisdom and discernment got him promoted to second in command of what was then the most powerful nation on earth. Next week we will continue to learn leadership from Joseph and we learn about Phase four of the Law of Process.
We want to thank you for listening and studying God’s Word with us today. I want to thank my Dad, Ike Goen, for reading the Scriptures for us today. It is our hope that you have been encouraged and will continue your studies of God’s Holy Word and seek to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Please make plans to join us right here on WSLM 97.9FM and 1220 AM Next week from 8:45-9:15.
Remember also, if you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or visit our website at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. Please visit us on Facebook as well! Remember, we are providing our worship services “live streaming” on our Facebook page. The thing is, Scripture teaches in Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…” Please recognize the importance of being with your brethren in worship. We all need to remember Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” Please hang on to and live by Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done
through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Finally, we ask that you please remember, we want to help you with your walk with God.
Phase Four: I Simply Go Because of What I Know. During seven years of plenty, Joseph executed his leadership plan with great skill. He filled the cities of Egypt with grain and prepared the country for a famine. But one can see how far his leadership had grown only by observing what he did during the lean years that followed. While he focused on feeding the people of Egypt, the strength of his leadership allowed him to feed the people of other lands as well. In the process, he brought untold money, livestock, and land into his master’s possession. He also fulfilled the prophecy of his teenage dreams.
Every effective leader needs time to develop, but time alone cannot make someone an effective leader. Some individuals never discover the Law of Process, never work at growth, and therefore remain at Phase One their entire lives.
Fortunately for the children of Israel, Joseph did not stop at the first stage. HE grew in his journey from the pit to the palace. Yet nearly 23 years passed before he reunited with his brothers and saw his own vision fulfilled. At the end, Joseph realized that God had directed the process of his development as a leader, and that he had been groomed for a much greater purpose than he ever imagined as a cocky teenager.
By the time his father died, Joseph had learned to see things from God’s perspective. When his brothers feared for their lives, Joseph calmed their nerves by saying in Genesis 50:19-20, “Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
At last Joseph could trace God’s hand over all the years of his life. And he understood the Lord’s long-term plan for His people, a plan Joseph helped fulfill by growing into the leader God desired him to be.
Well, we come to another end of “Moments of Truth”, and we want to thank you for listening and studying God’s Word with us today. I want to thank my Dad, as well for reading all of the Scriptures for us. It is our hope that you have been encouraged and will continue your studies of God’s Holy Word and seek to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Next week we will pick up our study beginning in Genesis 32 and learn more from Jacob and Esau. We will also begin discussing leadership lessons from Joseph!
Remember also, if you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or visit our website at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. Please visit us on Facebook as well! Remember, we are providing our worship services “live streaming” on our Facebook page. The thing is, Scripture teaches in Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…” Please recognize the importance of being with your brethren in worship. We all need to remember Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” Please hang on to and live by Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Finally, we ask that you please remember, we want to help you with your walk with God.