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Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me,” and they came near. Then he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. — Genesis 45:3–4

Joseph: Integrity Does Make a Difference

Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers in these verses. Joseph is a remarkable man in biblical history. He was mistreated and was tempted, for example, by Potiphar’s wife, but through it all he prevailed. He did not give in. Nor did he allow his success as Pharaoh’s right-hand man to corrupt him.

Does it really make any difference how we respond to the temptations of life? May I say to you that Joseph could not conceivably have had any real concept at all of the difference his response to that first temptation made. If he had succumbed to that temptation, as many young men in our time would, you wouldn’t be here today. That was four thousand years ago. Had he succumbed:

  • He would not have been cast into prison.
  • He would not have interpreted the dreams of the baker and cupbearer of Pharaoh.
  • He would not have been brought up out of the dungeon and brought before Pharaoh.
  • He would not have been able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Therefore he would not have been made prime minister over all of Egypt or known to gather food for the next seven years to prepare for the great famine and drought that would spread over all that part of the earth.
  • There wouldn’t have been any bread to prevent the other sons of Israel from starving, as Jacob said they were doing.

So, there would have been no twelve tribes of Israel, no Judah. Therefore, there would have been:

  • No later Joseph
  • No Mary
  • No Jesus
  • No Christmas
  • No Bethlehem
  • No Good Friday
  • No salvation
  • No Resurrection Day
  • No hope of the future
  • No Christian church

You would be lost, and you would have no hope beyond the tomb.
There were consequences that Joseph knew not of, and we know not of, that arise out of the temptations that we endure. Dear one, when you are next assailed with temptation, remember Joseph and his rewards.