God’s Plan for the Youth and the Enemies Efforts to Thwart It: The Case of Joseph and David
God makes plans for the youth early. Almost all the people mentioned in the Bible started as youths serving God. The enemy, however, has placed road mines on their way to greatness. There are several examples in the bible that we can study for our learning. Most Israeli kings were anonted as youths. At the youthful stage of life, most people are not defiled. As such most of the dream dreams while others see visions of what they would become in the future. I will like to start with the story of Joseph.
The Dreams of Joseph
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it” (Genesis 37: 5).
In fact, he even had another dream apart from this one.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me” (Genesis 37:9).
At a young age most youths who are useful in God’s hands will usually dream dreams of their future. God usually shows the youth early in life what they will become in future. But the enemy will rise to challenge these dreams. Thus, Joseph’s dreams became his undoing. His brothers rose to fight him. Usually when God has a plan for any man, he should be ready for battles because the enemy will began to fight. As such, the first battle took Joseph to a far away country.
The first battle was to kill him but God protected him. He was then sold into a far country by his own brothers (Genesis 37:27-28).
“Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up the murder? Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we won’t have to hurt him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed, and when some Midianite traders came by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the well and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.”
The greatest battle we face in life are our brothers; in fact our close relatives. Once your brothers sell you physically and spiritually, outsiders can only buy you. If you are not offered for sale, no one buys you. Most sudden deaths in Africa are caused by spiritual sales. No secret cult, witch or wizard has the power over any man that has not been sold out by his relatives or even sold himself to them. If all these demonic groups can just kill anyhow, then nobody will be alive today. And remember that these relatives are not angry because you have done anything evil. They just hate your existence no matter what you are doing to or for them. This was the first battle the devil arranged for Joseph just to kill him and destroy his dreams. The next battle was the enticement by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7-9).
“And after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
This is what the devil uses to finish every youth. Women! Many people’s destinies are buried in the laps of women. Some other persons in the place of Joseph would have counted themselves lucky. The wife of Potiphar would have been more careful with Joseph so that her husband would not know. Joseph would have been getting additional pepper soup. What would have been the end result anyway? Today we wouldn’t have been reading about Joseph. He would have sold his destiny to the devil. The matter would have come out anyway and Joseph would have been executed. There is nothing that is done in the secret that does not come to the open. The glorious story we are hearing about Joseph today is because of his refusal. And above that, Joseph is in heaven.
If Joseph had consented, an early grave would have awaited him just as many youths today are perishing in the hand of the devil. Many people do not know that they are alive today because God is saying peradventure they may change. If you go to the market, do you buy useless things to stock in your house? In the same way, God is not ready to fill the earth with useless people. The major problem of man on earth is not even the early grave but what awaits him after death.
I want to buttress some of my arguments above with the life of David. David was the youngest of his brothers; at least, he was not among the first three. Yet, God called him to be anointed of Samuel, the prophet. After this anointing he began to do exploits. He could kill lions with his stick or even bare hands (I Samuel 17: 34-36).
“But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
That is the type of exploit every pure, undefiled man does. Time will fail me to talk about his exploits against the enemies of Israel. Even his master, Saul, sought every way to kill him but he could not. His fight with Goliath of Gath was a testimony. His elder brothers were generals in the army of Israel. In fact, the entire Israelite army was very prepared for war, yet they could not dare Goliath. Yet, a boy possibly in short knickers, with no knife, no coat of arms, no shield, in fact, nothing to protect himself could finish Goliath with just a catapult. Then the devil began to lay his deadly mines (2 Samuel 11: 1-5).
“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”
This began the beginning of the fall of David. A few minutes of enjoyment and then an entire life of agony and frustration started. David had to plan to kill the husband, Uriah the Hittite. This is just like adding salt to injury. His children began to have sex with each other. Amnon had sex with Tamar. What a disgrace; to hear that the king’s children were having sex with each other (2 Samuel 13:1).
“In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.”
That is how the devil works. It makes beauty to be exaggerated in the eyes of the beholder. That is why some parents lie with their children.
“No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her (2 Samuel 13: 12-14).
The devil can make any man foolish but all this befell because of the sin of the father, David. Then all the other troubles that followed. Absalom then killed Amnon in the course of time. And worse still Absalom chased his father from being king over Israel. The worst aspect was that he slept with his father’s wives in the open (2 Samuel 16:22).
“So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.”
That is the type of evil that befell David. The litany of woos can continue. Absalom himself was killed in the course of war that followed the overthrow of his father. This death did not even end after the reign of David as King Solomon who replaced his father killed Adonijah, his half-brother. Even in all these, look at the most dramatic aspect about the life of David (2 Samuel 21: 15-17).
“Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.” And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”
Look at the story of the man that killed lions and bears with his bare hands as a small boy. This giant was a less threat than Goliath because of his age of David. At this time David was a full-grown man. The devil has achieved his aim. A mighty warrior became a laughing stock to the extent that he could be prevented from going to the war front. He became a spectator only waiting to hear news of what he could have witnessed firsthand. By this time he was a man but his performance was below when he was a boy. As a man he should be mightier than when he was just a boy. That is what the devil achieves in the life of most people – sap their anointing and render them useless. Not too many people survive the attack of the devil on their lives as Joseph did.
This is the real battle for the youth. Not too many youths even know God they way they even should. Most youths go to church because of their parents. Most youths are fiery believers while in school. The same youths will sleep with a manager to get a job. Most Christian youths these days believe in god-father syndrome that has engulfed Nigeria. What about even our so called men of God? They fasted to get one gift or the other from God. Most will remain fiery as far as their economy depends on their anointing. If placed on the ordinary scale as every other Christian, they will quickly fall into one terrible sin or the other. And I am sure most still do with even their fiery anointing. Time will fail me to talk about Samson. What finished Samson was a woman.
This is a great warning for every youth. You were born to have a great future but the sin of fornication and adultery will finish all the plan of God for your life. That you are leading one fellowship or the other today on campus is not a guarantee that you will allow God’s plans to be become real in your life. Look at the life of the two men discussed here and take head to yourself.