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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Marketplace Devotional #24 8/14/14

Robert Chen

Kingdom Callings in the Marketplace: Joseph as Governor

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt...

56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere...

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.  

[Exodus 41:41-43, 56-57; 50:19-21]

Most of us know the story of Joseph very well: As a young man, the favored son of Jacob receives dreams from the LORD about his glorious destiny. His brothers become jealous and sell him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph is imprisoned, tested, and tempted, but remains faithful to God, holding onto His promises. Through the LORD's divine orchestration, Joseph rises to 2nd in command over all Egypt. In this role, he administers wise strategic planning to get through both years of prosperity and famine. 

Theologically, Joseph is a proleptic figure, an early glimpse of a proto-deliverer and wise ruler that points to the future Christ, the True Deliverer and Perfectly Wise King of Kings. He also foreshadows the coming release of forgiveness and grace that are inextricably tied to the abundance and shalom of the land. 

In this context, we understand Joseph as the "Governor" (or Prime Minister) who operates in divine wisdom, favor, and leadership to advance the LORD's agenda. In the marketplace, many are gifted in the area of "administration." But in the church we have grossly misappropriated this gift to mean tedious administrivia, at worst, and office management, at best. 

The Kingdom calling of Governor rightly understands the administration gift as imparting powerful divine grace to govern, rule, strategize, build with wisdom, and lead with favor. 

In the marketplace, this doesn't mean that everyone with this calling will be a CEO or, well, the governor of a state. It does mean, however, that we should increasingly identify, celebrate, and train up the Governors in our midst. 

One trait of Governors that I see is this: a journey paved with many setbacks, temptations, and "prisons" (i.e., seemingly inescapable situations, whether financial, relational, etc.). This is the necessary testing required to heal and prune our hearts---before we receive extraordinary resources and responsibilities to steward well.

But let us look to the narrative of Joseph to see how the LORD brought him along in this extraordinary journey. LORD, release the Governors among us!