Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 103

do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine.’”

The interpretation was reasonable and consistent. The policy it recommended was sound and sensible. But who was to be entrusted with carrying out the plan? The nation’s preservation depended on the wisdom of this choice.

For some time the matter of the appointment was under consideration. Through the chief butler the monarch had learned of Joseph’s wisdom and good judgment in managing the prison. It was plain that he possessed superior administrative ability. In all the realm, Joseph was the only man gifted with wisdom to point out the danger that threatened the kingdom and the preparation necessary to meet it. There were none among the king’s officers of state so well qualified to conduct the affairs of the nation at this crisis. “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” said the king to his counselors.

From Prisoner to Prime Minister

Then the astonishing announcement came to Joseph, “‘Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, all my people shall be ruled and according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.’” ... “Then Pharaoh took his ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, ‘Bow the knee!’”

From the dungeon, Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt, a position of high honor, yet surrounded with peril. One cannot stand on a lofty height without danger. The tempest leaves the lowly flower of the valley unharmed while it uproots the stately tree on the mountaintop—so those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down by the temptations that come with worldly success and honor. But Joseph’s character bore the test of adversity and prosperity alike. He was a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his family, but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his life. In constant reliance on God he faithfully carried out the duties of his position. The attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God, and they learned to respect the principles revealed in Joseph as a worshiper of Jehovah.

In his early years Joseph had followed duty rather than inclination, and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature of the youth bore fruit in the deeds of the man.

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