In an interview with Bryant Gumbel last year, Martin Gross expressed his extreme displeasure over America’s inability to solve its many financial woes. “Listen, they [the politicians] talk to me and say, ‘Mr. Gross, you’re right,’ and nothing happens. You know why nothing happens? Because there is no one in charge. The politicians know politics and know nothing about government,” he said.
He pinpoints the cause of this world’s soon-coming economic collapse: irresponsible leadership. That’s why, when Jesus came the first time, He spoke about the Kingdom of God—God’s family government—to be restored to this Earth when He comes a second time. For the past 6,000 years, God has been preparing leaders to fill certain posts within that family government—leaders who know everything about government.
One such example is Joseph. As a young lad, barely out of his teens, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. In Egypt, he ended up serving in the house of Potiphar. And yet, even in slavery, God says Joseph was a “prosperous man” (Gen. 39:2). Potiphar took note of Joseph’s wise stewardship and made him overseer of all that he had (vv. 3-4). God blessed Potiphar’s house all the more as a result of the kindness he showed Joseph (v. 5).
Joseph was in a position not unlike politicians of today. He was given charge over much wealth and prosperity—and none of it belonged to him. God wanted to see if he could unselfishly handle the goods and riches of another—and do so with wisdom and prudence.
“And [Potiphar] left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored” (v. 6). Potiphar did not worry about one thing with Joseph overseeing his estate. Joseph didn’t drag him into debt. He didn’t embezzle funds. He didn’t write bad checks. He didn’t covet all that his boss had. He didn’t even cheat on Potiphar’s behalf. He was a goodly, trustworthy, honest, hard-working finance manager!
Even Potiphar’s evil wife could not diminish Joseph’s unblemished character. She falsely accused Joseph of seducing her, and Potiphar unwisely believed her and sentenced Joseph to a prison term. Yet, even in jail, Joseph was given charge over all the prisoners! “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with [Joseph], and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper” (v. 23). Joseph spent two years “prospering” in prison.
While in prison, the Pharaoh summoned him to interpret one of his dreams. Joseph gave him God’s interpretation—Egypt was to enjoy seven years of prosperity, followed by seven years of famine (Gen. 41:25-30). Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint someone to oversee Egypt’s agricultural economy so it could begin to prepare for the seven lean years (v. 33).
Pharaoh, like Potiphar and the jail-keeper before him, could immediately see that Joseph understood how to handle prosperity. He told Joseph, “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 said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt” (vv. 40-41).
As a slave, Joseph was placed in charge of Potiphar’s belongings. As a prisoner, he oversaw the jail-keeper’s responsibilities. Finally, Pharaoh placed him in charge of all Egypt! Obviously, God was preparing this man for a special position in His Kingdom. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about that in his book The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What it Will Be Like: “Joseph became food administrator of the greatest nation on earth of that time—Egypt. Joseph was synonymous with ‘prosperity.’ … He was made actual ruler for the pharaoh of the world’s greatest nation. But his specialty was dealing with the economy—with prosperity. And what he did, he did God’s way.
“It seems evident, therefore, that Joseph will be made director of the world’s economy—its agriculture, its industry, its technology, and its commerce—as well as its money and monetary system. These systems will be on the international level, the same in every nation.
“Undoubtedly Joseph will develop a large and perfectly efficient organization of immortals made perfect, with and under him in this vast administration. This will be an administration that will eliminate famine, starvation, poverty. There will be no poverty-stricken slums. There will be universal prosperity!”
The reason for this revolutionary change is that, finally, there will be a qualified and responsible leader at the helm of the world’s economy who understands everything about government.