Godliness in Youth

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The first verse of our chapter stands out in marked contrast with the thirty-sixth chapter. Jacob was still a stranger in the land. Let us learn, dear young people, to look at things in the light of eternity, and not as they appear now. Even though the ungodly may prosper now, we know that God’s righteous judgment is hang­ing over this poor Christless world, and why should we heap together treasures in the last days (James 5:33Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. (James 5:3))? They are all going to be destroyed very soon, and only what is of Christ will abide. “The things which are seen are tem­poral; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
We now begin the history of Joseph. He is one of the most beautiful types of Christ in the Bible, and we need hardly remark that this is the reason God has given us the story of his life in such detail. It is so interesting that even the smallest child can enjoy it, while the oldest believer always finds something new and precious in it.
Temptation in Youth
Joseph was seventeen years old when we begin to read about him. As we look back over the years, we can think of a good many boys and girls whom we have known, who were very regular attendants at Sunday school. They answered the Bible questions, and even spoke nicely about the Lord, until they were about sixteen or seventeen. Then they missed the Sunday school a few times, then quite often, and soon they were seldom, if ever, there. They were too old for that — so they thought! They were wiser than their parents (at least they con­sidered themselves so), and they missed many of the meetings. They dropped off the prayer meetings and the Bible readings, and only came once on Lord’s day. Even at that meeting it took very little to keep them away. They found many friends in the world, but very few, if any, were true children of God. Yes, dear young people, six­teen or seventeen is a very decisive age. The world will make a great bid for you just then. Unless you are like the strong young men (or women) of 1 John 2:1414And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: (John 2:14), with the Word of God abiding in you, you will not be able to overcome these temptations of the wicked one.
How refreshing, on the other hand, to read of a young man like Joseph, who at the age of seventeen was obedient to his father, and was seeking to please the Lord. God could use an instrument like that, and He did use him in a most remarkable way. What a need there is today of earnest, godly, young men who are willing to give up the world for Christ. Perhaps you will have to stand alone if you choose such a path; Joseph did, and yet he was not alone, for the Lord was with him.
Delight Found in Christ
Joseph’s father had a special love for him because of his obedience, and he made him a coat of many colors. Joseph was a type of Christ, and we think of the many glories of Christ and of how God His Father always found His delight in Him. He would have us to find our delight in Christ too, but just as Joseph’s brethren hated him, so the Lord Jesus was hated without a cause by his brethren the Jews. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name” (John 1:11-1211He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:11‑12)). Have you received Him into your heart?
Further Meditation
1. What made Joseph an instrument God could use?
2. Who else in Scripture stood alone, or nearly alone, when they were young in order to honor God?
3. Young Men of Scripture by W. T. P. Wolston contains the story of Joseph and of other young men who lived to please the Lord. You would probably get real benefit for your soul in reading it.