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We move back into the experience of Joseph, who has been sold by his
brothers into Egypt. He has served for a period of time in Pharaoh's house.
Now he has been placed in prison. I can imagine when the doors were slammed
behind Joseph that Satan must have whispered in his ear, "Now what do you
think about your God?" All of the dreams that Joseph had had as a boy were
dashed to the ground. He had gone to prison in disgrace. He was there on the
charge of rape. He was false accused, yet that was the reputation which Joseph
had all around the palace and around the prison. Here is Joseph. He has lost
his reputation. But he has not lost his character. There is a difference
between reputation and character. Reputation is what others suppose you are.
Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people think of you.
Character is what God knows about you. Reputation is what they chisel on your
tombstone. Character is what the angels say about you before the throne of
God. During these days when Joseph was in prison, God was training him, God
was testin-g h-im and getting him ready for his ultimate pLan in life. When you
go to the New Testament you have a summary of the life of Joseph. I just want
to read this to you, but in Acts 7 there is a summary of Joseph's life.
Beginning in verse 9 it says:
And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt:
But God was with him,
And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour
and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him
governor over Egypt and all his house.
Here is one of the most magnificent rags to riches stories in all of
literature. The story of Joseph is unexcelled in human history as the story of
a man who was on the very bottom, whom God took and lifted to the heights.
Here is a man who was in prison, yet one day he wound up in a palace. I want
us to look at this final testing time just before God pro ...
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