The key to greatness, Acts 7:9-16:
‘9 ‘Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. 11 ‘Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.’NIV
If God is with you, who can say where life will take you?
There can be no doubt that Joseph was the right man in the right place at the right time. He did not have an easy ride, but everything worked for good in the end (Romans 8:28) He became a great, great man in Egypt, being elevated to the highest position in the land, apart from that of Pharaoh himself. It’s a wonderful story, and has been popularised (although not with total accuracy) by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Nevertheless, the details capture the imagination. But what Stephen’s sermon makes clear (and also the book of Genesis) is that Joseph’s greatness cannot be explained apart from God and His sovereign purposes. He was raised up for God’s glory, to be an instrument of His saving work on behalf of Jews and Gentiles. Ultimately, it was all about God.The Lord was writing his story, and what an adventure it turned out to be!
I would rather have a bit part in God’s drama, than be the star in my own one man show.