Joseph the Man of Character

When I think about great men in the Bible there are perhaps only a few men greater, in my mind,  than Joseph. Joseph was a man of great character. We see proof of this in Genesis 39 where it states four times that the “Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:2, 3, 21, 23). What does it take to be a man or woman of character though?

When we look at Joseph’s life, from the time of his youth to the time of his reigning alongside pharaoh, we read about three characteristics he possessed that answer this question for us.

First, Joseph was a man of integrity. Joseph was sold off by his brothers into slavery and ended up us a servant in Potiphar’s house (37:28; 39:1). While Joseph was serving in this house, his master’s wife came to him several times seeking to seduce him but Joseph refused every time. There was even a point when it was only Joseph and Potiphar’s wife that were in the house but instead of giving in to the temptation Joseph fled (39:11-12). One mark of a man/woman of character is that they seek to please God even when no one else is watching.

Second, Joseph was a man of humility. Later on in Joseph’s life he was asked to interpret the dreams of pharaoh (41:14-15). Joseph told pharaoh what his dreams meant but he did not take the credit for it. Joseph instead gave the credit of the interpretations to God knowing that it was God who allowed Joseph to do this marvelous thing (41:25, 28). Another mark of a man or woman of character is that they do not think too highly of themselves and they give God the glory in everything.

Lastly, Joseph was a man of wisdom. After Joseph told pharaoh what his dreams meant he proceeded to tell pharaoh that he needed to appoint a “discerning and wise man” over the land of Egypt (41:33). After thinking it over pharaoh decided that there was no one wiser, and therefore, no one better equipped for the job than Joseph (41:37-43). Joseph then went on to successfully implement a plan to have enough food stored for the seven years of famine that would befall them (41:46-49). The last mark of a man or woman of character is that they are wise in their actions because they allow God to direct their steps.

These three qualities are not the only things that a man/woman of character possesses, but they are certainly a starting point. Joseph was a man of tremendous character because he kept his integrity, remained humble and practiced wisdom by allowing God to direct his actions. Let us seek to have these qualities in our lives as well.

-Jack D.

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