The Factor Needed for a Stable Economy

Universal prosperity is coming—and by very different means than today’s economists use.

The United States and economies around the world are facing collapse. Massive amounts of wealth are created from nothing and vanish into nothing. Corruption is systemic. Stealing is occurring on an incalculable scale. Don’t you long for right government and a right economy? Could that be in our future? If so, how?

Did you know that Jesus Christ’s message is about a literal future government? He said that the Kingdom of God, a literal government, will be restored to Earth when He returns. Throughout our 6,000-year history, human beings have rejected God’s rule and created their own systems of governance and economics. That will end when Christ returns; meanwhile He has been preparing leaders to staff that future government.

One example is Joseph. When he was young, his brothers sold him into slavery, one of the worst economic, social and political positions possible. He was forced to serve in the house of an Egyptian officer named Potiphar. Remarkably, this young slave actually became a “prosperous man” (Genesis 39:2). Potiphar took note of Joseph’s wise stewardship and gave him control over all his possessions and affairs. God blessed Potiphar’s house all the more as a result of the kindness he showed Joseph. A financial and economic factor was at work that economists never consider: God’s blessings!

Joseph was in a position not unlike today’s politicians. He was given charge over large amounts of wealth, none of which belonged to him. God tested him to see if he could handle the goods of another with honesty, diligence, prudence and wisdom. With those often-overlooked traits, an economic boon could come to Egypt that would extend far beyond Potiphar’s house.

“And he [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 favoured” (verse 6). With Joseph overseeing his estate, Potiphar did not worry about one thing. Even as a slave, Joseph did not waste his money, wear out his equipment, fall into debt, cause problems with his staff, or covet the many possessions Potiphar had that he lacked.

Joseph’s character also saved him from giving in to Potiphar’s wife when she repeatedly tried to tempt him. When she accused him of trying to seduce her, Potiphar had Joseph imprisoned, and he went from being a successful slave to a prisoner. Yet even in jail, Joseph proved himself trustworthy and was eventually given charge over all the prisoners! Much like Potiphar, “[t]he keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him [Joseph], and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper” (verse 23). Joseph spent two years “prospering” in prison.

Then the king of Egypt summoned him to interpret one of his dreams. Joseph gave Pharaoh God’s interpretation: Egypt would experience seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 41:25-30). Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint a wise man to oversee Egypt’s economy in preparation for the seven lean years (verse 33).

Pharaoh, like Potiphar and the jail-keeper, saw that Joseph understood how to handle prosperity. “Thou shalt be over my house,” he told Joseph, “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” (verses 40-41).

As a slave, Joseph cared for Potiphar’s affairs. As a prisoner, he cared for the jail-keeper’s affairs. As second-in-command to Pharaoh, he cared for the affairs of the entire nation! Yet even this was merely preparation for his future government position in the Kingdom of God.

“Joseph became food administrator of the greatest nation on earth of that time—Egypt” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. “Joseph was synonymous with ‘prosperity.’ … [H]is 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.”

God trained Joseph to lead the economy of tomorrow not by educating him in the ancient equivalents of high finance and economics but by trying and strengthening his character. Godly character, obedience to God and blessings from God are the reason that Joseph was—and will be—synonymous with prosperity, along with those under his governance in the soon-coming Kingdom of God.