Do you think God is stingy?
Before you point and shout
"sacrilegious" hear me out. I am prone to a belief that God doesn't want
me to have "much more." Sure, the Bible says that God will give me much
more and that He is a God of abundance but I don't always live like I
truly believe those words. I claim to believe the Bible with my whole
heart yet I skim past the abundance and focus on the "sell everything,"
"don't take an extra cloak" scriptures. Those passages convince me that
God wants me to live with the bare minimum - nothing extra, frivolous or
unnecessary. Dare I say, stingy.
This line of thinking has
suited me just fine until I opened my Bible to the story of Joseph.
Although I've read the account of Joseph more times than I can count and have
seen it on the stage and TV, I had never really grasped the entire
message of Joseph's life.
My previous understanding was that Joseph was a man who was treated unfairly and unjustly but was spared by God and
ultimately used by God. This is all true. But there is something more
to Joseph that I had always missed.
Let's start from the beginning.
wore a multicolored robe given to him by his father. That is until his
brothers stripped him of it, threw him in a well, sold him into slavery
and thought they had gotten rid of that little twerp for good. They
didn't like their little brother's attitude or the favoritism his father
showed him so they devised a plan to do away with the thorn in their
side, the unwanted member of their clan.
You know the rest of the
story, don't you? Joseph gets sold to Potiphar and falsely accused of
adultery with Potiphar's wife. He is thrown in jail where he interprets
the dreams of two men - both of which come to pass just as Joseph had
predicted through the mind of God. In time Pharaoh has a dream that
needs interpreted and Joseph is brought forth to see if he can do the
job. Of course, with God, he can. Pharaoh is so pleased that he puts
Joseph in charge of protecting the land from an impending famine.
guess what else Pharaoh did. He gave Joseph a fancy robe made of the
finest of linens and a gold chain to wear around his neck.
Time to take a pause and reflect on that little, profound detail. Fine linen robe. Gold chain.
Devil had tried to strip Joseph of everything he had, starting
with his clothes and working up to his very life blood, but God restored it
all. He spared his life and even restored his fine robe. God didn't
just spare Joseph's life against the threatening ordeal of slavery and
jail, He blessed Him with abundance. Stingy? Not in the least. God
proved that He is the very opposite of stingy by restoring to Joseph his
robe and exceeding his past adornment by adding a gold chain to the
In the New Testament, years after Joseph departed from
this earth, Jesus told His followers not to worry about what they would
eat, drink or even wear. God, He assured us, is well aware of our need
and He'll see to it that we are taken care of. Just like He took care of
Despite being jailed, beaten and sold as a slave Joseph
was protected, sustained and even clothed with luxurious linen and
jewels. God was truly with Joseph in so many ways. He didn't just give
Joseph the bare minimum, He lavished upon Joseph blessings and favor
because Joseph was faithful.
God isn't stingy. He
doesn't just dish out the bare minimum. He is interested in more than
just surviving. He is in the business of thriving, blessing and giving
abundantly and lavishly! Even when we are in the pits of life, like
Joseph was for so many years, we still have the promise that God will
take care of us beyond our wildest imaginations. Do you think Joseph
imagined a fancy robe and gold chain while he sat in jail? Could he see
the future as second in command over all of Egypt? Likewise, you and I
don't know the plan God has in store for us. But we do know this: God
has a beautiful, bountiful plan for us and rich blessings to shower up
on. He isn't stingy and He is the furthest thing from a cheapskate. You and I serve the God of abundance and glory.