We will look at 5 individuals in scripture whom the bible mentions the early stages of their lives, how they were trained and the impact they made in society. Then, we will learn from them by relating their home life, the future they lived and the impact they created. We established somewhere along these teachings that relationship begins at home. Meaning, God intended for the home environment to be a place where relationships begin and where relationship skills are learnt. The first human relationship that existed was between Adam and Eve in their home (the garden God planted). So, let’s get started.
Joseph was a unique young man; the 11th of twelfth sons born to Jacob and his mother was Rachel (Genesis 30:22-25). Parents who knew God, and reverenced God. Joseph was dearly loved by his father (Genesis 37:3) and not very much by his older brothers (Genesis 37:4). Their hatred for Joseph was centered around the fact that Jacob loved Joseph more and also because Joseph was a dreamer which eventually caused them to sell Joseph as a slave to Midianite traders (Genesis 37:26-28). Now, we come to our verses of interest. Joseph finds himself in Potiphar’s house. The bible says this about Joseph’s stay in Potiphar’s house.
Genesis 35:2-5 (NLT)
The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master's household and property, the LORD began to bless Potiphar's household for Joseph's sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.
We see here that as a result of his background, Joseph continued to live a life that was pleasing to the LORD. Then, Joseph’s presence in Potiphar’s house was the reason why Potiphar’s household flourished. Not the other way around. As the story continues, Joseph eventually becomes the second in command in the nation of Egypt.
Esther is an example of a woman who influenced and stirred her environment into godliness as a result of her reverence for God. It all started during her stay with her cousin Modecai. Esther was an orphan, however, her cousin raised her (Esther 2:7) in the ways of the Lord. We say so because even while in the palace Mordecai sought to give Esther godly counsel. From the time Esther was recruited and finally became the Queen, she showed character of a godly woman (Esther 2:9) which can be tied to the quality of upbringing she received as a young girl. While in the palace, Esther requested that all her servants fast including the Jews which eventually led to a breakthrough for the Jews (Esther 4:15-16). Today, the Jewish culture celebrate what we call the Feast of Purim as a way of remembering the victory the Jews had over their enemies. But guess what? It all started from a young girl who was raised by a godly cousin. Remember we are looking at biblical examples of people who were taught in their homes and eventually impacted society. Esther’s teaching followed her all the way to the palace. I remember Mordecai counseling her at the palace saying in Esther 4:13-14;
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
Samuel was a son born to Elkanah and Hannah. At a very young age when he was weaned, his mother Hannah took him to the tabernacle to serve under Priest Eli. A vow she had made to God if He blessed her with a child (1 Samuel 1:11). Although not under the direct supervision of his parents, they still had an active role to play in deciding where he will be raised. Samuel was groomed in that environment and eventually became a prophet (1 Samuel 19:20) and Judge (1 Samuel 7:15 – And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life) to the nation of Israel. One thing that remained consistent in Samuel’s life was his obedience and reverence for God. Even while under training with Priest Eli, Samuel obeyed and reverenced God by relaying the news received from God to the Priest without compromise (1 Samuel 3:11-18). His obedience and reverence to God was a very consistent pattern in his life even when he became an adult and was entrusted with the responsibilities of a judge. I will like us to pay attention to the truth that it started from home. A godly environment. In 1 Samuel 7:3 we see Samuel showing reverence to God by calling on the Israelites to put away idolatry and return to God.
Another outstanding hero of home training is Timothy. Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 (NIV) says this “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” In 2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV), Paul says this to Timothy “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”. There is absolutely no doubt that Timothy was raised by a godly mother and grandmother. And that significantly impacted his future. Later in life, he became Apostle Paul’s mentee and grew spiritually mature to a place of influence in the Kingdom.
The bible mentions King Lemuel. One thing we are certain about his life is that as a young boy in his parents home, he was taught by his mother. Later in his years as a King, he recounts the teachings of his mother in Proverbs 31:1 (NKJV) - “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:”
The details of this heroes and heroine are necessary because our faith is built in the process and we also get to understand the benefits of investing time to teach our children and those around us.
The common theme among these people includes the following;
-Their relationship with God preceded the success of their environment.
-Their relationship with God was nurtured by a parent or two at their tender ages.
- They all became significant people in society and I believe their success was tied to their home life.
Joseph became the Prime Minister in Egypt
Esther became the Queen of the Jews
Samuel became the Prophet and a Judge in Israel
Timothy became an outstanding and influential Leader
Lemuel became a King
Their greatness can be traced back to a godly home training.