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From Eternity Past

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    From Prisoner to Prime Minister

    To Joseph the astonishing announcement was made, “Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.” “And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee.”EP 147.2

    From the dungeon, Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt, a position of high honor, yet beset with peril. One cannot stand upon a lofty height without danger. The tempest leaves unharmed the lowly flower of the valley, while it uproots the stately tree upon the mountaintop. So those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down by the temptations that assail worldly success and honor. But Joseph's character bore the test alike of adversity and prosperity. He was a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his kindred, but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his steps. In constant reliance upon God he faithfully discharged 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 the worshiper of Jehovah.EP 147.3

    In his early years Joseph had consulted duty rather than inclination; and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature of the youth bore fruit in the deeds of the man.EP 148.1

    The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and qualify us for greater trusts. By adherence to principle the mind becomes accustomed to hold the claims of duty above pleasure and inclination. Minds thus disciplined are not wavering between right and wrong like the reed trembling in the wind. By faithfulness in that which is least, they acquire strength to be faithful in greater matters.EP 148.2

    An upright character is of greater worth than the gold of Ophir. Without it none can rise to an honorable eminence. The formation of a noble character is the work of a lifetime. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them.EP 148.3

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