“But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy and lovingkindness and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison.” Genesis 39:21 AMP
Joseph had given ten incredible years of service to Potiphar, his master. When he was first taken and sold into slavery in Egypt, Joseph thought his life was at an end. Then God orchestrated Joseph’s purchase by Potiphar, Captain of Pharaoh’s private guard. Joseph worked hard; God blessed. There before Potiphar’s eyes his property produced as it never had before, animals remained healthy, everything Joseph managed prospered. Potiphar had ample opportunity to see Joseph’s God blessed everything Joseph put his hand too.
Then tragedy struck. Mrs. Potiphar, the master’s wife, could not keep her hands to herself. The more Joseph resisted, the more determined Mrs. Potiphar became in her desire to seduce Joseph. Possibly it became an issue of pride, a challenge to her seductive wiles. Finally she caught Joseph alone, grabbed his shirt, and purred into his ear her hearts desire! However, God has placed in Joseph a deep and abiding loyalty, first to God, then to his father, his master, and to himself and to his family name. Joseph used the only option left to him, he ran. Accused of rape, Joseph was held for Potiphar to administer the penalty for any slave touching, let alone raping, an Egyptian woman, and a noble woman at that.
There was only one penalty for the crime of which Joseph was accused, death. By law Joseph should have been taken out and executed. But that did not happen; Joseph was not killed.
Instead Potiphar sent Joseph to the Executive Prison. Those who are old enough may think of G. Gordon Liddy, Chuck Colson, or even Martha Stewart. You know what I mean, the prisons with all the 5-Star amenities. Definitely, Potiphar was not convinced of Joseph’s guilt. But to keep some semblance of honor for the family name and avoid as much of the scandal as possible, he had to do something.
Potiphar knew Joseph. He knew what Joseph could and couldn’t do, would and wouldn’t do. And Potiphar knew his wife, as well.
There is a subtle change, a transition in the direction of Joseph’s life. As he continues to recall the stories he heard from his childhood, he ponders the stories of God, His promises, what He had planned. He contemplated the stories of how his father wrestled with the Angel of the Lord, how God saved the family from the anger of Esau, the story of Abraham and Isaac. Over and over the stories played in his heart and mind bringing comfort, encouragement, reminding him God never leaves us or forsakes us.
“And the warden of the prison committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison; and whatsoever was done there, he was in charge of it. Genesis 39:22 AMP
It would appear Joseph’s reputation had gotten around in the land of the pyramids! The prison warden took advantage of it immediately by putting Joseph in charge of the prisoners. What a journey, from a pit, to a caravan of slaves, to manager for Potiphar, accused of molesting Potiphar’s wife, to now residing in the Executive Prison. And unknown to Joseph and everyone else involved, every action has a purpose in preparing Joseph for the adventure that he could never even dream would happen.
We still have his whole story; we know all that Joseph doesn’t know, and cannot even guess, yet he continually chose God. Moment by moment each day Joseph sought God, chose God.
This is the astonishing part, God chooses us! Moment by moment each day God is seeking us. One of the characteristics of Grace I appreciate the most is God’s passionate intimacy for each of us.
As the next chapter in Joseph’s story begins, his future as planned by God, there is an undercurrent of something positive about to occur. As challenging as the negative forces have been, Joseph’s future will reveal amazing miracles as God continues to use every action for His purpose.
We can see in Joseph’s life parallels to our own, not exactly the same, but similar. We are all human, our lives are very much the same. The bottom line is this, we all need God to carry us through His plan.
Think about it. God takes responsibility for our future. Every action has a purpose, and God continues to take responsibility for our present, for our yesterday, for our everything! As you think about your own stories, ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see how He has used events in your own life for His purpose, for your future.
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.” Ephesians 1:18-19
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