A Shave and A Change of Clothes

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

A Shave & A Change of  Clothes

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

In our last lesson, we left off with the knowledge that during Joseph's imprisonment, at the end of two full years, Pharaoh dreamed dreams that left this ruler in a greatly troubled state of mind! As the Lord is continually showing us in the story of Joseph, these are perfect opportunities for God's people to share God's perspective with those who have exhausted all other avenues of help. As a matter of fact, we'll see in our reading today of Genesis 41:9-14 that a certain person in Pharaoh's company had experienced the help of a particular servant of the Lord, and it just so happens that it jars his memory…

Genesis 41:9-14
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker: And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

Joseph's life is a prime example of the fact that a servant of the Lord must always be prepared for unexpected opportunities to serve God! One day, without warning, Joseph was thrown into prison, yet was faithful to make good use of his time ministering there. Now today, without warning, he finds himself hastily snatched out of prison to be brought before Pharaoh! I think we can confidently say that Joseph will be faithful with this new opportunity, amen? Mark it down ladies; if you're a righteous person in good standing with the Lord, God will use you anywhere and everywhere! You see, God could count on Joseph to do right in every setting He placed him in so He used him often. I wonder if that is the way the Lord feels about you and I today? Faithfulness should be characteristic of God's people, yet how many Christians can our heavenly Father really count on today to represent Him suitably in whatever circumstances He brings their way…

Psalm 12:1
Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

Psalm 101:6
Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

If you recall, Joseph had hoped the butler would remember him and intercede for him at a much earlier date. However, a man he had shown so much kindness to had forgotten Joseph until the day Pharaoh became disturbed by the meaning of his strange dreams. Notice the chief butler said "I do remember my faults this day".... Ladies, have you ever come to the place where something jars your memory and causes you to come face to face with your faults in a way that you've never seen them before?? Do you confess them publicly to the appropriate party like the chief butler did? When you come to the sudden and heavy realization that what you do or don't do greatly affects someone else, you will! You see, there are people within your sphere of influence that are suffering because of your faults and they need to know that you realize your neglect in the situation. There is no such thing as private sin! Acknowledging your faults is part of the process that brings about the proper changes in a relationship…

Psalm 51:3
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Of course, the offended person should be quick to forgive, but the healing process begins when others hear YOU humbly confess what you clearly understand to be your fault, or your contribution to the problem. True confession proves to others your commitment NOT to continue on in that sin! Those who have been hurt by your negligent actions are comforted by your confession. No one can discern all of his sins without the help of God and His Word; therefore, when God makes your secret faults known to you, always confess them right away! It clears the way for maximum fellowship and real joy with God and man.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another...

Psalm 19:12
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

Though the chief butler confessed his fault to Pharaoh, Joseph had not the privilege to hear that this man knew he had wronged him. Yes, Joseph has suffered at the hand of many different people many different times, yet he remains devoted to the Lord and it is seen here in the smallest of his actions. Let's look again at verse 14 in our text today and you'll see what I mean:

Then Pharaoh send and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

The Bible says Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes before going in unto Pharaoh - I love that tidbit of information!! Scripture doesn't say that anybody required this of Joseph, does it? Certainly Pharaoh wouldn't care, for he only wanted his dreams interpreted by this prisoner and then would probably throw him back into confinement. Because things happened so hastily, Joseph didn't even know the reason he was being summoned! For all he knew, execution was just around the corner… It is when a person is caught off guard, that character is best revealed. Joseph's exceptional character is exhibited in this emergency, for his actions prove his humility and trust in the Lord. Through research, I learned that Egyptian custom was to let the beard and hair grow when in mourning. Yet here we have a young man who had been thrown into prison without justification (a perfect reason to mourn) making sure that there were no signs of despair showing in his life! Joseph purified himself for the undisclosed mission that awaited him. Whatever the outcome, he wanted Pharaoh to know that He was fully submitted to God.

What do your actions prove, dear lady?? Are there any signs of despair showing in your life today? Do you care as deeply as Joseph does about your Christian testimony? As ambassadors of the Lord, regardless of whom we are about to confront or whether or not we know the details of the matter, we should ardently prepare ourselves to appropriately represent our King in every setting. Even when your circumstances require you to bring yourself before people that do not have your best interest at heart, you must still come with the mindset of glorifying God! Perhaps you have a husband today who does not love the Lord - you must still do all you can to honor his position and love him as a person. Likewise, a Christian worker should be the best on the job even if he has the worst boss. Maybe certain family members do not approve of your Christian lifestyle - you must still give your time and attentions to them in a respectable fashion. Whatever the case may be, we must never disconnect ourselves from the duties of the gospel! We should never become lazy about our testimony, regardless of life's difficulties. No matter what, we should strive for excellency, for it's the Lord we really serve!

Col. 3:23-24
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

In closing, let's all learn from Joseph that our social skills and relationships must be dominated by our relationship with the Lord! It is by God's power and authority that we should live out our daily lives. If the Lord is truly preeminent in our hearts, then we will love, submit, and treat all people suitably in the Lord - NO MATTER WHAT. God's life in us should express itself AS God's life! Are you prepared to live this way? Can the people around you plainly detect that you are filled with the Spirit and the Word of God?? If not, then perhaps you need a shave and a change of clothes…

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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