Ultimately, this is a story about God. God working His plan even though at times it may not have been evident from the outside. And while that plan was played out at a macro level on the world stage in the form of a famine in the land, it was also played out at a micro level in the life of Joseph. What if Joseph had not obeyed his father Jacob to go find his brothers? What if his brothers had received him well? What if he had refused Mrs. Potiphar? What if he had been self-absorbed and ignored his two fellow prisoners? What if the cupbearer had remembered him right away and not forgotten him for two years? Joseph consistently made the right decision, having oriented his life toward God, without knowing the long-term benefits…although circumstances along the way didn’t seem to confirm it. In making the right decision suffering would come before glory…foreshadowing Jesus who suffered before being exalted to the right hand of the Father.
The story’s told: “Robert Dick Wilson was one of the most brilliant men of his time. He was a Hebrew professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. One of his graduates was the famous pastor Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse who later on went on to pastor the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Twelve years after graduation Barnhouse went back to Princeton to preach in the old Miller Chapel. On that occasion his former professor Dr. Wilson sat on the front row to hear him. Barnhouse preached and afterwards Robert Dick Wilson came up, extended his hand and said to Barnhouse, “If you come back again, I will not come to hear you preach. I only come once. I am glad that you are a big Godder. When my boys come back, I come to see if they are big Godders or little Godders and then I know what their ministry will be. And Barnhouse asked him to explain. Dr. Wilson said, “Well some men have a little God and they’re always in trouble with Him. He can’t do any miracles, He can’t take care of inspiration and transmission of the Scriptures, He doesn’t intervene on behalf of His people. They have a little God. I call them little Godders. Then there are those who have a great God. He speaks, it is done. He commands and it stands fast. He knows how to show Himself strong on behalf of them that fear Him. You Donald have a great God and He will bless your ministry.” And he paused, smiled, said, “God bless you,” and walked away…”
Joseph saves the world. He’s at the top of the heap. How would he survive prosperity? By having his soul tempered through 13 years of suffering. He learned great dependence on God…he knew of God’s greatness, believed God’s word and trusted that God’s presence was with him. Joseph was a big Godder.
So how about you, are you a big Godder or a little Godder? Is Your God the God of the Bible, who not only created the universe, but is also Sovereign over it and actively involved in both world events and the lives of His people, or is He an ineffective and impotent God, unable to help in time of need and nervously watching events unfold? How big is your God?
May we be big Godders.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster