Last week, I wrote on the power of prophecy to transform your life. If you missed it, you can read it here. I ended the article saying that one of the goals of prophecy is to prepare us to handle the responsibility of the promise God wants to give us, so that we won’t be destroyed by it. A great example is the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Before Joseph became second over of all of Egypt, and a type of Christ in how he lived a life of integrity and forgiveness, he needed some refining.
As the story goes, beginning in Genesis 37, Joseph was the first born son of Rachel, the only wife, we are told, that Jacob loved. His father unequivocally displayed his favoritism by making Joseph a richly ornamented robe. This, of course, provoked his brothers to jealousy and hatred. On top of that, Joseph was given two dreams from God that his family interpreted correctly, that showed all of them bowing down to him. Whether Joseph shared his dreams out of genuine excitement, naiveté, or haughtiness, we don’t know. Regardless of his motive, his season of testing was about to begin.
Though his brothers, at first, had plotted to kill him, they instead sold him into slavery. He found himself a slave in Potiphar’s house, Pharoah’s captain of the guard. Since God’s favor was upon Joseph, he was quickly promoted to attendant in charge of all of Potiphar’s house. Unfortunately, he wound up in prison after refusing to sleep with his master’s wife and was falsely accused of trying to rape her. Again, God’s favor landed him a promotion to caretaker over all the prison. There he met a baker and cupbearer, whose dreams he interpreted correctly. He hoped the cupbearer would be his ticket out of prison, but instead, he was forgotten for two more years. Finally, he was called upon to interpret Pharoah’s dreams, which got him promoted to second in charge of Egypt, the wealthiest nation on the planet at that time.
Psalm 105 gives some important insight on Joseph’s life: “He sent a man before them — Joseph — who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.” (v. 17-22) The word “tested” means, to test (and prove true), to refine, to be refined, to smelt. This speaks of heating precious metals until the dross comes to the surface and can be removed, thereby purifying the metal and greatly increasing its value.
Through all the trials, adversity, and injustice that Joseph endured, God lovingly, painstakingly refined him in the fire. All so he could handle the weight of authority and responsibility of not only his family, but all of Egypt bowing before him, as prophesied through his dreams, many years before. There is a saying that states, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” History has most often proven this to be true. I have no doubt that God, in His wisdom and great love for Joseph, would not allow that to happen, so He used the difficult, painful circumstances in his life, in such a way as to bring forth His best for Joseph, and for His people Israel. Without Joseph’s leadership, all of Israel might have been lost during the famine, and then the Promised Seed, Jesus, could not have come forth.
If you have ever received a prophetic word, dream, or vision, and then seemingly all hell breaks loose around you, it may be that God’s word is testing you to refine and purify you so you won’t be destroyed by His promises. Trust Him – He always knows exactly what He is doing!
Have you gone through testing after receiving a prophecy? I would love to hear your story! You can share below.