The rest of the story confirms the depth of Joseph’s character. He spent his life trusting in the Lord and pursuing godliness. Joseph’s life was a foreshadowing of Christ’s perfect life which is the absolute standard of perfect character. Jesus said of Himself, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
In order to express the kind of character that Joseph did, one must be humble. Humility is a virtue which enables the one who has it to rightly assess himself before God. Jesus said that He was gentle and lowly in heart. The word from which both gentle and lowly are derived can also be translated as humble.
The Apostle Paul wrote of Jesus’ humility in Philippians 2:6-11. Even though He was God, He did not consider Himself to be equal to God but He humbled Himself by taking upon Himself human nature. Jesus’ humility extended to obeying the Father even to death upon the cross.
The human author of the story of Joseph was himself a humble man. Moses wrote of himself, “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3 The Spirit of God inspired Moses to write these words about himself when his leadership was challenged by two people who were the closest to him.
Like Joseph, Moses’ life demonstrated his trust in the LORD. Even when Moses sinned and God forbid him to enter the Promised Land, he endured the consequence of his sin and continued to obey God.
Character is the measure of a man or a woman. Behavior reveals character and it matters profoundly. Men and women of character are humble and can be trusted. Their character is seen over time.
Through viewing a person’s character whether it is good or evil, future actions can be anticipated. We are all sinners in the sight of God. Yet we must make decisions concerning those who we choose to entrust with various roles in life like leadership. Choose wisely. Choose men and women of character.
Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).