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For me, Joseph is a larger-than-life Biblical personality, whose story is as relevant today as it was about years ago. He was an exceptionally gifted leader and administrator who showed amazing resilience in the face of a series of crises that rolled relentlessly into his life like the waves of the sea. Horrible things happened to him through circumstances beyond his control. Joseph was thrilled with this precious gift. However, his ten brothers did not share the excitement.

They threw him into a deep cistern, and then plotted to kill him. Finally after a heated squabble they agreed this was too drastic a step.

Joseph the Prime Minister

So they sold him for a mere 20 shekels of silver to a group of passing Midianite slave traders. Slave traders were often cruel, chaining slaves to one another as they trudged along their harrowing journey into the unknown.

What a culture shock for Joseph, having to adapt to working as a house slave in a sophisticated home, when all he knew about was farming. Here is where we begin to gain insight into the character of Joseph and the trust relationship he enjoyed with the Lord. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes Potiphar put him in charge of his household and he entrusted to his care everything he owned The Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian because of Joseph.

Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you. What an incredible turnaround in the life of Joseph! So much so that he appointed Joseph to be at the helm of Egypt during a precarious period in his history. He circumspectly led the nation through the good times of prosperity, shrewdly building silos and storing grain for the lean years. Joseph blossomed to his full potential through an identity that was totally immersed in the Triune God, whether things were going well, or in tribulations of the worst kind.

He continually responded to the faithfulness of God, trusting in Him even when his whole world was falling apart and everything appeared so hopeless and unfair. The life of Joseph portrays the life-saving divine relationship you can enjoy in Christ today, even in your darkest moments. What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Joseph was gracious and forgiving. Nor did he allow their vindictiveness to sap his spiritual vitality and prevent him from growing to his full potential in the Lord.

The good news is that rifts were healed and Joseph was eventually united with his father. Joseph led an extraordinary life in total allegiance to God Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Joseph, the Prime Minister

By the age of twelve, he was "cutting scrub" clearing land for local farmers. In , aged fifteen, Lyons began working as a pupil-teacher under the monitorial system. This allowed him to continue his own education while being paid to teach younger students, and eventually qualify as a full-time teacher himself.


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In March , Lyons transferred to the Midlands, taking charge of the schools at Conara and Llewellyn. His superiors also disapproved of his political activities, which together with his complaints probably contributed to his frequent transfers and failure to win desirable postings. Lyons came from a family that was broadly sympathetic to the labour movement , but without any formal political involvement. Though widely read, he did not actively participate in politics until after leaving Stanley.

Lyons helped found a branch of the Workers' Political League during his time in Smithton, but was forced to resign his membership due to restrictions on the involvement of public servants in political activities. The son of one of his political opponents was convicted of assault, and the incident received widespread media attention.

Labor came to power in Tasmania in , after the existing Liberal government of Albert Solomon was defeated on a confidence motion. The new premier was John Earle , who had previously held office for one week in October The government would face a number of challenges during its two years in office, including a statewide drought, a series of bushfiress in early , and labour shortages due to the ongoing war.

Like most Australians of Irish Catholic background, Lyons was an anti-conscriptionist and stayed in the Labor Party, becoming its new leader in Tasmania. He held office until , also serving as Treasurer during the whole period of his premiership. Lyons' government was cautious and pragmatic, establishing good relations with business and the conservative government in Canberra, but attracting some criticism from unionists within his own party. Labor narrowly lost the state election to the Nationalist Party.


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As premier, Lyons faced a constitutional crisis relating to the powers of the Tasmanian Legislative Council the parliament's upper house. The Legislative Council had a limited franchise and was occupied mostly by conservative landowners, and was consequently opposed to much of the government's platform. Historically, it had claimed for itself the power to amend money bills , despite having no express constitutional authority to do so.

In November , the council returned the government's budget to the Legislative Assembly with a series of proposed reductions in spending. Lyons chose to ignore the amendments, instead sending the bill directly to the Administrator, Herbert Nicholls , who approved it. In , the government amended the state constitution to codify the Legislative Council's powers over money bills, bringing them into line with the other states. On 15 July , Lyons suffered severe leg injuries when his car—driven by a chauffeur—collided with a goods train near Perth.

He came close to death, and stood down from public duties for four months to recover; Allan Guy was acting premier in his absence. Michael O'Keefe , the Speaker of the House of Assembly , was also a passenger in the car, and lingered for several months before dying of his injuries. At the election Lyons ran for the federal seat of Wilmot , covering the same territory as his state seat.

He was swept into office in Labor's landslide victory under James Scullin. When the Depression struck in , the Scullin government split over its response. Lyons became the leading advocate within the government of orthodox finance and deflationary economic policies, and an opponent of the inflationary, proto- Keynesian policies of Treasurer Ted Theodore. Theodore was forced to resign over accusations of corruption in June , and Scullin took over the Treasury portfolio in addition to the Prime Ministership. Lyons announced his plan for recovery in October , insisting on the need to maintain a balanced budget and cut public spending and salaries, although also advising lower interest rates and the provision of greater credit for industry.

His conservative economic approach won him support among business, but angered many in the Labor caucus, who wanted to expand the deficit to stimulate the economy, and were horrified at the prospect of cuts in salaries and government spending. Alienated by their attacks, Lyons began to consider suggestions from a group of his new business supporters, including influential members of the Melbourne Establishment, that he leave the government to take over the leadership of the conservative opposition.

When Scullin returned in January , he reappointed Theodore as it had become clear Theodore would not be charged with corruption to the Cabinet as Treasurer, which Lyons took as a rejection of his own policies. Lyons immediately resigned from the Cabinet, and then in mid—March from the Labor Party. The UAP realised that Lyons, an affable family man with the common touch, was a far more electorally appealing figure than the aloof Latham.

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Additionally, his Labor background and his Catholicism would allow him to win traditional Labor constituencies working-class voters and Irish Catholics over to what was essentially an upper- and middle-class conservative party. In March, at about the same time as Lyons led his group of defectors from the right of the Labor Party across the floor, five left-wing NSW Labor MPs, supporters of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang , also split from the official Labor Party over the government's economic policies for Lyons they had been too radical, for the Langites they were not radical enough , forming a "Lang Labor" group on the cross-benches and costing the government its majority in the House of Representatives.

Late in the year, the Langite MPs supported a UAP no-confidence motion and brought the government down, forcing an early election. At the election Lyons and the UAP offered stable, orthodox financial policies in response to what they branded as Scullin's poor stewardship of the economy.

While Labor remained split between the official party and the Langites, the UAP projected an image of putting national unity above class conflict. The result was a huge victory for the UAP, which took 34 seats against 18 seats for the two wings of the Labor Party combined. While the two parties ran separate House campaigns, they presented a joint ticket for the Senate.

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The massive swing to the UAP left it only four seats short of a majority in its own right. While Lyons was still willing to take the Country Party into his government which would have commanded over 70 percent of the seats , negotiations stalled, and Lyons decided to govern alone. The government won a third term at the election , with 44 of 74 seats and While campaigning, Lyons made extensive use of the new technologies of radio, film, and air travel.

Lyons adhered to the principles of "sound finance", opposing inflation and government debt and stressing the importance of balanced budgets and orderly loan repayments.


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  5. Lyons appointed himself Treasurer , the first non-Labor prime minister to do so and the first incoming prime minister to do so since Andrew Fisher in He had earlier offered the treasurership to Ben Chifley as an inducement to leave the Labor Party, but Chifley declined. It called for devaluation of the Australian pound , cuts to public servants' wages, reductions in tariffs, reductions in budget deficits, and greater spending on work-relief programmes. His second budget reversed wage cuts and offered tax cuts, which were followed by further tax cuts in the budget.

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    In April , Western Australia voted overwhelmingly to secede from the rest of the country. The state's isolation at the time was such that he had to appoint John Latham as acting prime minister for the duration of the trip. Despite the result of vote, the federal government viewed secession as unconstitutional and refused to allow Western Australia to leave the federation. The state's appeal to the British government to intervene was also unsuccessful.

    The government's landmark national insurance scheme proved politically controversial and was never enacted. Political controversies included the Egon Kisch affair of and the Dalfram dispute of In , two simultaneous referendums were held, relating to aviation and the marketing of agricultural products; both failed. Lyons had no previous experience in international relations or diplomacy, but as prime minister took a keen interest in foreign relations and exerted significant influence over the government's foreign policy.

    Increases in Australia's defence budget in the years before World War II made him "the greatest peace-time rearmer in Australian history", and saw the military rebuilt after severe funding cuts during the Great Depression.