Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Joseph

Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Joseph

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.”

 (Genesis 41:38–39 NASB 1995)

Joseph is an example of a man to whom God imparted His wisdom to accomplish tasks that prepared the way to protect His people in Egypt. In the passage above, the Pharoah of Egypt acknowledged the Spirit of God in Joseph and the wisdom he displayed.

Bible scholars believe that Joseph entered Egypt under the reign of the Hykos. These were foreign people, not Egyptians, who conquered Egypt and ruled as Pharaohs (kings) in the period of the Middle Kingdom. Kings Amenemhat I, Sesostris II, and Amenemhat II built relatively small pyramids and ruled as the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteen dynasties of Egypt. The Hykos ruled over Egypt during a 150-year period and some scholars believe that Joseph entered Egypt (Genesis 39) during the reign of Sesostris II in the period 1897–1879 B.C. Perhaps Sesostris was the Pharaoh who recognized Joseph’s wisdom. (It was over 100 years later that native Egyptians overthrew the Hykos, and the new kings did not favor the Israelites established on the eastern side of the Nile River delta, Goshen – and enslaved them. These new kings did not know or favor the Israelites (Exodus 1:8)

Remember that God’s wisdom was displayed in Joseph’s amazing life in Egypt:

  • Joseph prospered after being sold to the Egyptians and became a leader (Gen. 39:1- 6)
  • Joseph retained his moral character in the face of a seduction and false accusation that landed him in prison. (Gen. 39:7-18)
  • Even in prison, Joseph was placed in a leadership role (Gen. 39:19-23)
  • God gave Joseph the wisdom to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams (Gen. 40-41:37)
  • As a ruler of Egypt, Joseph demonstrated wisdom in leading Egypt through a famine (Gen. 41:38- 45:28) and by dealing graciously with the brothers who betrayed him.

In Stephen’s defense of his faith in Jesus as the Messiah in the Book of Acts, he describes the succession of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob -the father of the 12 sons that were recognized as the patriarchs of the tribes of the nation of Israel. In his speech, Stephen recognized the wisdom that God granted to Joseph:

The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household. (Acts 7:9-10)

May we be like Joseph, to whom God will grant favor and wisdom to lead our lives walking faithfully for Him.

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