How It All Began With Joseph Jacob
The scripture says,
“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants, All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!” Psalm 128:1-6 NKJV
Fear of God means the tremendous love, respect and sense of awe that one has for God – which makes one always wants to please Him.
Let’s use Joseph Jacob in the book of Genesis as a case study in understanding the fear of God. For Joseph, it may seem as if his blessings began with his dreams or the encounter of being sold to slavery by his brother, but I believe it actually began with the lifestyle of the fear of God/holiness that Joseph chose.
The bible states,
“And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”” (Gen. 39:7-9).
Though he was put in prison as a result of this incident, but to find favor in prison and subsequently in the king’s eyes – to the point of becoming the second in command to Pharaoh in a foreign land began at the moment he chose to live Holy.
Psalm 31:19 states,
“How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!”
From Joseph’s case we see that the fear of God:
- Helps one to run away from sin. Joseph ran from illicit sexual advances, instead of indulging (Gen. 39:10-12). What would we have done if we were the ones involved in this situation? How are we handling such situations now?
- Makes one wise. Prov. 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” The source of the wisdom that Joseph displayed in handling the scarcity/drought of Egypt is the lifestyle of God’s fear in him, even Pharaoh recognized this. (Gen. 41:39). To become someone who became the brain behind the economy of Egypt, it all began with the choice to live holy. Do we want to become relevant in our society and to our generation, we must choose to fear God.
- Brings promotion/elevation. Joseph was made the second in command in Egypt because of the wisdom he exhibited (Gen. 41:40-45). Brethren, even if you are a foreigner, God is ready to elevate you if you choose to fear Him
- Helps one to forgive offenses. Joseph was able to find it in his heart to forgive his brothers who sold him to slavery. To live a life that forgave his brothers was not ordinary, it began with the decision to live holy and please God (Gen.50:15-21). I pray that God will give us the maturity to ask for the forgiveness of those who are messing with us. Jesus said, “… “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34). I do not suggest that this is easy but, “for with God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), since He is the one who told us to forgive those who offend us (Matt. 6:14).
- Helps one not to seek revenge. In Romans 12:19 we read, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ““Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Joseph did not seek revenge against his brothers, instead he took his experience as a plan of God to send him ahead of others – in other to provide for them (Gen. 42:18; 45:1-8).
- Matures one to bless those who have offended/cheated one. Joseph did not only forgive his brothers, he took it upon himself to provide for them in a time of need and settle them in the best part of the land (Gen. 47:12). This is extraordinary.
- Helps one to live long (Gen. 50:23). Joseph lived to see his grandchildren as promised in Ps. 128:6
Job is an example of someone who feared God – Job 1:1,8; 2:3
Everything one wishes for is shown in Psalm 128, the question is whether one also wishes to live the life that brings about such blessings – the fear of God.
Conclusively, I’ll like to remind you of Eccl. 12:13 which says the whole duty if man is to fear God.
- Lord, please cause me to have your fear in my heart.
- Help me to forgive and not seek revenge, allowing you to have your way in my life.