“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51
It is difficult for me to not cry whenever I read the story of Joseph in the Bible. The scene where Joseph is taken out of prison and into Pharaoh’s presence, and the events that follow, is particularly tough on me, and many are the times I have found myself crying so violently on reading it, that my body would shake and rattle like it was about to break apart. I take precautions when I am reading this explosive account because one time I bawled so loudly the neighbors came to see what was wrong.
I always wondered why I should grieve so intensely whenever I read Joseph’s account. There was a voice in my head telling me that because I was raised in a poor family, therefore I could identify with poor Joseph, and that was why I cried. In other words, this was a psychological reaction and I was empathizing with my physical situation. This line of thinking seemed plausible to me, and with time I even found myself reproaching myself whenever I was tempted to cry reading that story.
And then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see what it was about this part of Joseph’s story that was so powerful. That was the day that I came to realize what made me cry so hard. The revelation hit me like a freight train, as they say, and that day I knew without a doubt that God had spoken to my heart. On that day, I came to understand the deep spiritual significance of Joseph’s instant promotion at the court of Pharaoh.
I also came to know that God called us to a spiritual purpose and that when He moves or touches our hearts it is always for a spiritual purpose. We should never interpret it otherwise.
What I understood from the story of Joseph was so contrary to the cheap ‘promotion’ gospels that we hear peddled in Church today. You know, today you will hear adverts on Christian radio and TV about the ‘uplifting’ work of Jesus: Jesus wants to promote you at your place of work, in your finances, in your studies, in your health; He wants to give you a wife, etc., etc.
It is hard for many believers to accept the truth of the Gospel because they have been taught that we get saved in order to live like ‘King’s kids’ here on earth; even though the Bible itself clearly negates that notion. Today there is another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit being preached and believers are paying heed to these things (2 Cor. 11:4).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with whether you are rich or poor; whether you sleep with a full tummy or an empty one.
To be fair, there is nothing wrong with material things, for God is our Father and He wants to do us good even in this world. But that is not the blessing we are called to look to. The Apostle Paul said: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Cor. 15:19
God showed me that the true value of this account of Joseph was in showing us how in the twinkling of an eye we will be taken out of our physical bodies and into the glory of the living God at the last Day. That account is about our initiation into the heavenly glory. It is a spiritual account. The Bible tells us how things will be at the end: “For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15:27-28
There was none above Joseph in all of Egypt except Pharaoh. Likewise, above Christ and His Body, the Church, there will be only One – God the Father.
The account of Joseph’s promotion has nothing to do with anything of this world. We await an incomparably far greater glory, one that far outweighs anything that our mortal minds could dare to think. It is a spiritual glory. We need to cry to God for this revelation. Such revelation will put us eons ahead of this present world, and enable us to see spiritual things that are “afar off” (2 Pet. 1:9). Consequently, we can rejoice in the present suffering we are undergoing in anticipation of that which only our spirits know about.