God is Changing Reputations
How many of us have done things in the past that affected our reputation in a negative way? With all of us I am sure that there are things that we are not proud of. The worst thing is that other people know about them too. I want to show you examples from the word where God restored reputations and sometimes it seemed impossible for God to do so. Let’s look at the life of Joseph: God showed him a dream where he saw his brothers and father bowing down to him. He revealed this to his brothers and father and this stirred up the brothers against him. One day Joseph came looking for his brothers and when they saw him they conspired against him and threw him into a pit. Medianites spotted Joseph and sold him to the Ismeelites for twenty pieces of silver and they took him to Egypt (Genesis 37 verse 27). In Egypt Joseph is placed in Potiphar’s house and has so much favor that Potiphar puts him in charge of all his servants (Genesis 39 verse 4). Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph and he resists and runs away naked (verse 11, 12). She accuses Joseph anyhow and he is put in prison. Even though it is a lie, everybody probably believes Potiphar’s wife and Joseph’s reputation goes from most favored in Potiphar's house to a prisoner in a jail. It seems that his reputation would never be able to change. But God had other ideas! Joseph is put in prison and it seems that this is the end of the dream for Joseph. In prison Joseph is so faithful that the keeper of the prison puts Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. He interprets a dream that the ex Chief Butler for Pharaoh has in prison and two years later the same butler remembers Joseph interpreting his dream. It seems that Pharaoh had two dreams and Joseph is called up hurriedly from the palace. He interprets the Pharaoh’s dreams and warns of a seven year period of time of famine after a seven year period of plenty. He tells Pharaoh to put somebody in charge of storing up the food for seven years. Pharaoh promotes Joseph to do the job and makes him the number two man in all of Egypt. Everybody reports to Joseph; that means Potiphar and his wife also. You know that Potiphar’s wife had to fall down at Joseph’s knees and repent. Joseph could have had her killed. You know that everybody now knows that Joseph told the truth. One great big blessing by God wiped Joseph’s old reputation and started him onto beginning a new one; the man who saved the whole of Egypt from starvation! You see it doesn’t matter how long Joseph was in prison and was talked about negatively because of Potiphar’s wife’s lie. One day it all changed. God didn’t have to rush to vindicate Joseph. He had it all timed out. But one thing is for sure: God was going to change Joseph’s reputation since he resisted sin and didn’t bring shame on the reputation of the One True God. God had an obligation to move for Joseph. You can rest assure to day that if it is your desire to serve God and turn your flesh over to him that He already is working to change people’s opinion of you from past mistakes that you made before and even after you got saved. He is putting into motion those blessings that will turn people’s heads when they see you and say “wow he sure looks different” “did you hear what God did for him?” Receive this today no matter what you have done in the past.
Moses was raised up in Pharaoh’s palace and one day he sees an Egyptian beating up an Israelite and Moses kills the Egyptian. Moses runs away and lands in Median. Imagine what people thought about Moses back in Egypt; he went from most favored in Egypt because of his grandfather the Pharoah to a murderer and a coward who ran away after killing the Egyptian. In Exodus Chapter 3 Moses is watching his father in law’s sheep in the backside of the desert hiding. God speaks to him out of a burning bush that was not being consumed and tells him in essence that He is about to change his reputation (verse 2). The LORD wants to send him back to Pharaoh to tell him to let His people go out of Egypt. The LORD tells Moses that He has heard the cry of His people and wants to bring them out of captivity and into a new land that is flowing with milk and honey (verse 8). The LORD sends Moses back to his grandfather the Pharaoh and tells him that the LORD wants him to let His people go. Pharaoh refuses but after the tenth plaque where the firstborn are killed, he has to relent. When the Pharaoh and his army are at the Red Sea and want to take the Israelites back, they try to cross after the Israelites but are drowned (Exodus 14 verse 27). This is when God changes Moses’ reputation in the eyes of all the Egyptians; not only did the Egyptians see God’s power in the ten plagues, they are now hearing about how the LORD destroy Pharaoh and his chariots. In their eyes Moses is a man of God and His God is the only True God. Moses is no longer considered a coward as he came back to Egypt and stood in front of Pharaoh to demand that he release God’s people. In their eyes they now see Moses as the one who lead millions of slaves out of Egypt. Look how God changed his reputation with one gigantic miracle, one great event! He can do the same thing for you. Whatever you feel embarrassed about in your past, release it now to the LORD and watch Him work to reverse it.
Look at Mark in the New Testament. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on a missionary trip and got fearful and returned to Jerusalem. Later on Barnabas wanted to take Mark again with Paul and Paul said no! There was a great argument between them and Paul went with Silas. However, as recorded in 2 Timothy 4 v. 11, Paul told Timothy to bring Mark, for he is profitable to me in the ministry. Wow! What a change! Whatever God did in Mark’s life, it sure made an impression on Paul. Maybe you let God down in the ministry in the past and others know about it, but God is changing your reputation. All you have to do is repent and with faith watch God remove the stain, like it never was there!