A Godly Man Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
A Godly Man
Text: “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt” (Gen. 45:8).
Scripture Reading: Genesis 45:1-15
Whenever a person is chosen to be the subject for a sermon on godly men it is usually Joseph, and I am no different than anyone else because he is my idea of the ideal man of God.
I want to speak about godly men today because we live in an age when it is difficult to identify what a godly man should be like.
So much of what we are told by the media, about “good” men, doesn’t line up with the Word of God.
So, today, let’s go to the Bible, and using Joseph as our example, see if we can find out what it takes to be “a godly man.”
Ladies, I believe that this lesson is for you too since you all had fathers and grandfathers, and most likely you were married.
I hope that you have all known godly men and that if you had sons, that you raised them to be godly men.
And let me tell you, it is impossible to be a godly man unless you are influenced by a wife, a mother, or a grandmother who were godly women.
Joseph is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible.
He was born with natural abilities that we admire.
He was smart, good-looking, educated and well-mannered; and he began life with a great future ahead of him, but his world began to unravel.
His life, which at one time was so very promising, changed suddenly, and became plagued with danger; and there were harsh conditions that stir up our sympathy.
However, despite the circumstances of his life, he displayed godly qualities that demand our imitation.
Moses is the biblical writer, who tells the story of Joseph in thirteen chapters in Genesis.
Genesis gives us a great deal of information about Joseph, and he is also mentioned in the New Testament.
He was certainly a man who had great faith in God, and he lived like a godly man, despite the many difficulties he encountered.
His story begins in the land of Canaan.
Joseph was his father’s favorite son.
And his father showed his favoritism in many ways.
He let Joseph stay at home and run things while his brothers worked like farm hands.
He gave him a beautiful multi-colored coat that set him apart from his brothers.
In some ways, old Jacob was responsible for Joseph’s brothers becoming jealous of his privileges and for their plan to kill him.
But instead of killing him, they decided to make a profit and they sold him to some Ishmaelite merchants, and he soon became a slave in Egypt.
His story continues in a mixture of sorrow and happiness and concludes with a great reunion with his family.
This morning, let’s consider the godly qualities of Joseph’s life.
I want to read some of his story from Genesis 45:1-15.
At this time in his life, he is second in command in Egypt.
Only Pharaoh, himself has more power.
Joseph is at home in Egypt, and his eleven brothers have been brought to him.
He knows who they are, but they haven’t recognized him, as of yet.
Remember, his brothers had plotted to kill him and wound up selling him into slavery.
Now, let’s see what happens when Joseph confronts his brothers.
1 Joseph could no longer control himself in the presence of all his attendants, so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
2 But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
3 “I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still in good health?” But his brothers could give him no answer, so dumbfounded were they at him.
4 “Come closer to me,” he told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
5 But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.
6 For two years now the famine has been in the land, and for five more years tillage will yield no harvest.
7 God, therefore, sent me on ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives in
an extraordinary deliverance.
Let me stop for a moment because we need to understand that there was a world wide famine at this time.
Only Egypt was blessed by God with bountiful harvests.
The nations were forced to come to Egypt for food, and they paid a high price for it.
Old Jacob had sent his sons to Egypt to buy food for their families because Canaan was hit hard by the famine, and they were all going to starve unless they could get what they needed in Egypt.
In verse eight, we read…
8 So it was not really you but God who had me come here; and he has made of me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.
Now, this is very important.
Joseph’s faith can be seen, as he tells his brothers that God used their evil act for His purpose.
This is how He brought him to Egypt.
Then God continued to guide his life as he went from a servant in the house of Potiphar to a long stay in prison; until finally, he becomes a ruler in Egypt.
In that high position of authority, he was able to help his family.
All seventy souls, who made up his Fathers family, would go into Egypt.
They would come out some four hundred years later, a great nation of close to three million.
Let’s begin again with verse nine.
9 “Hurry back, then, to my father and tell him: ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come to me without delay.
10 You will settle in the region of Goshen, where you will be near me—you and your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything that you own.
11 Since five years of famine still lie ahead, I will provide for you there, so that you and your family and all that are yours may not suffer want.’
12 Surely, you can see for yourselves, and Benjamin can see for himself, that it is I, Joseph, who am speaking to you.
13 Tell my father all about my high position in Egypt and what you have seen. But hurry and bring my father down here.”
14 Thereupon he flung himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept in his arms.
15 Joseph then kissed all his brothers, crying over each of them; and only then were his brothers able to talk with him.
Joseph is my example of a godly man.
There are three things about Joseph’s life which I believe should be present in the life of every godly man or woman.
1. A godly person forgives injustices.
2. A godly person withstands adversity.
3. A godly person resists temptation.
Let’s begin by seeing how he dealt with the injustice.
Joseph suffered numerous injustices.
First, his brothers mistreated him.
They put him in a large pit and threatened to leave him to die.
Later they sold him to some slave traders, and these traders, in turn, sold him to Potiphar, an official in the Egyptian government.
Second, Joseph was treated unfairly by Potiphar’s wife.
She lied and accused him of molesting her.
That led to him being thrown into prison, with little hope of ever getting out.
Third, while Joseph was in prison he did a favor for Pharoah’s baker.
The Baker promised to bail Joseph out of prison but later forgot him.
Joseph’s story contains one injustice after another, but what we need to understand is this: Joseph suffered many injustices, but he forgave each injustice.
Even when Joseph rose to a position of power in the land of Egypt, he did not seek vengeance.
Instead, he forgave those who had treated him unfairly.
The mercy he showed to his brothers is a prime example of how we should forgive others.
We read that, “Joseph then kissed all his brothers, crying over each of them; and only then were his brothers able to talk with him” (Gen. 45:15).
The best way to deal with injustice is to do as Joseph; overcome evil with good.
We must resist the impulse to retaliate, but instead, we should do good to those who do evil to us.
Our life is on exhibit before a watching world, so we need to have a life that has been transformed through faith in Christ.
Jesus never promised us a life without hardships.
Actually, he said that there would be persecution and troubles for the child of God.
What he did promise was that he would give us grace to get through the hardships and troubles.
He said, “My grace is sufficient.”