Then a 'new' king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. Exodus 1:8
The story of Joseph is a miracle of provision, faith and trust, during a time of drought and famine. It is a story of increased government power and wealth, and a story of the new forgetting the old.
Think about a time when a new person entered into your world, someone who did not know you or your previous work or accomplishments. Someone who did not value your skills or experience or even desire to find out anything about you. The favour or history you have enjoyed, and perhaps rightfully so, disappears before your eyes.
The new always displaces the old. The old must give way to the new - this is a natural law but it does not mean it will always brings 'good'. This means that in any new circumstance, the new must be 'courted'. It could be a new person, a new process, a new way or new piece of equipment - the new must be actively embraced and engaged and discovered.
In the case of people, the new person must be 'courted' and encouraged to discover the values and the history of the old, in order for the new to find and take its most effective place. That new 'king' person in your world will come, and this verse tells us a few things that we ought to note:
- We should not rest upon past results or efforts. These efforts and results were for that moment and that day. Today is a new day, requiring new results and new effort.
- We should not expect the new 'king' to be interested in our old results or efforts. The old results and effort were from a time now past, and while does not undervalue what was achieved, the reality is that the 'new' direction and focus is what matters now.
- Do not expect the new 'king' to care about your history and stories. This means that wisdom is needed to find ways to tell the old stories and efforts in a way that is relevant for the new day and times ahead, and in a way that 'courts' the new
But what this verse really says is that while we do matters, what matters even more is that we realise we serve the Lord, and our efforts are for Him. We need to accept that what we have done ends up archived or discarded and relationships of old lose their influence. So if the olf always gives way tot eh new, what great habit we can adopt from this verse?
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Eph 6:7
This is the great habit - and this is spiritual law that we should practice - to always court the new - because we actually work for the Lord. Kings come and go, but the great habit is to court the new by working for the Lord knowing that in fact, working for the Lord is to court the new.
So do not be precious about the new king - because you work for the Lord