Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message, another parenthesis in our life-study, we come back to the line of Joseph's personal life. I love the line of life even more than the line of Joseph as a type of Christ. As I was contacting the Lord with a praying spirit, the Lord showed me the points in chapter forty-two regarding Joseph's personal life which we shall cover in this message.
Joseph must have been very happy to see the fulfillment of his dreams. Chapter forty-two reveals that his brothers came to him and bowed down to him. Joseph was seventeen years old when he had his dreams. At the age of thirty he was exalted to rule over the land of Egypt. About nine years later Joseph's brothers bowed themselves down to him. This means that Joseph would have been probably thirty-nine years of age when his brothers came to him. Thus, about twenty-two years after his dreams, Joseph saw them fulfilled, but not until he had been betrayed and imprisoned. Then he spent many years in the dungeon and eventually was elevated to the throne at the time of his exaltation. But still Joseph did not see the fulfillment of his dreams. He had interpreted the dreams of his companions in prison and the dreams of Pharaoh, and the fulfillment of those dreams was a strong confirmation that his own dreams would be fulfilled. Nevertheless, Joseph had to pass through a long period of testing. It may seem to us that his patience would have been exhausted. Could you have waited twenty-two years for the fulfillment of your dreams? Joseph did.
Then on a certain day his brothers came and bowed down to him. If we had been Joseph, we would not have been able to contain our excitement. We would have jumped up and shouted, "Hallelujah! Don't you know that I am Joseph? How happy I am to see you!" We would have been beside ourselves with excitement. If the sisters among us had been there, they would have first wept and then embraced all the brothers. Joseph, however, was not out of control when he saw the fulfillment of his dreams. Rather, he was calm and his excitement was under control. He was able to control himself in such a way because he was a person with the rulership of the Spirit.
If you cannot control your own excitement, you cannot be a proper ruler. The ruling aspect of the mature life knows how to be calm, even in the most exciting situation. You may say, "Didn't Joseph weep when he saw his brothers?" Yes, he did. Joseph was a human being full of sentiment and normal feelings, not stone or wood. Nevertheless, even in his weeping we see that he was a person who ruled himself. Apart from Joseph, no one else could have controlled himself in such an exciting situation. But he conducted himself outwardly as if nothing had happened. This is the ruling life, the victorious life.
Often it is necessary for us to hold back our excitement. When Aaron's two sons were killed in the presence of God, Moses' words to Aaron implied that he should not weep, and immediately Aaron held back his tears (Lev. 10:1-7). Many times we also must hold back our tears and place ourselves under the rulership of the Spirit. A proverb says one who rules his spirit is better than one who takes a city (Prov. 16:32). The fact that Joseph remained calm under the rulership of the Spirit proved that he was the one qualified to carry out such a vast administration. Even in the most exciting of circumstances, he was not touched by any excitement. On the contrary, he remained calm, sober, and reasonable.
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