God wants to use His people in significant ways, to shine His light in a dark world.
In the book of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave—a horrible turn of events in this teen’s life. His work ethic and exemplary character, though, lifted him to the position of head steward within Potiphar’s household.
The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man… in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all he did to prosper. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he (Potiphar) made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his (Joseph’s) authority. So it was, that from the time he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake… – Genesis 39:2-5
A false accusation landed him in prison. But there he also rose to a top position of responsibility. Interpreting dreams for the king’s butler and baker, he was later remembered and asked to stand before the same king to interpret his dreams. Once again he was given a high position, second only to Pharaoh.
As a young captive Daniel was taken to the Babylonian court. Unwilling removed from his home, he left his family, his culture, and the traditional worship of his God behind. But Daniel, and a few friends who were in the same position, determined themselves to honor God and the Law they had been taught all their lives.
Subservient to the foreign ruler, they respectfully made a request to follow their dietary practices. Following a testing period, the request was granted. Because they honored God in their choices, He honored them. This opened the opportunity for God to work on their behalf, to bless and to eventually lift Daniel to a position of great influence.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm…
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel… “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings”… then the king promoted Daniel… – Daniel 1 & 2
Centuries before in the land of Persia, Esther was another apprehensive participant in a foreign king’s bizarre scheme. In a tale of intrigue, heartache and romance, the evil villain got his just desserts. God’s plan overruled Haman’s deadly purposes, as favor had been given to Esther. God placed her within the royal palace at just the right time.
(Mordecai told Esther)… “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place… Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Then Esther replied to Mordecai) “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me… my maids and I will fast also. And I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” – Esther 4:14-16
Through a series of divinely orchestrated events, she became the main character in a prime position for saving an entire nation from genocide. This victory has been celebrated by her people for thousands of years.
We should never underestimate the power of a single believer who acts upon his faith and calls upon his God, even while in a solitary place. When we are brave enough to swim against the current of humanistic culture, politics or academia, in the attempt to honor God, God promises to honor us.
We, who are called to be salt and light, are the ambassadors and representatives of Jesus Christ—the King of kings—on earth. Do we not realize how it rejoices God’s heart to see His children take a stand for righteousness? Let us place our very lives in the mighty hands of God, and watch Him work!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. – Matthew 5:16
A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. – Proverbs 18:16
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. – I Peter 2:9
(Artwork depicting Biblical scenes courtesy of Public Domain art)