Scripture: But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. Genesis 39:21-22 ESV
Observation: As covered in yesterday’s Daily Focus, Joseph learned a hard lesson regarding the importance of avoiding any appearance of impropriety. In his master’s house with no eyewitnesses, Joseph fled Potiphar’s wife’s grasp leaving his coat in her possession and setting himself up for her false accusation that consequently landed him in prison.
The author then begins the next segment of Joseph’s story with a “but” (above verses). But God was with Joseph, the favored son of Jacob and the Lord’s chosen vessel to rescue his covenant people from future famine. Thus, the Lord blessed Joseph in the sight of the warden in a similar manner to how he thrived under Potiphar (until the run-in with Potiphar’s wife). Indeed, with God’s help, Joseph quickly established himself as a competent leader and garnered the attention and confidence of the keeper of the prison. And in the last verse of this chapter, the author adds the additional note that the Lord made Joseph succeed, and resultantly the warden paid no attention to anything he put in Joseph’s charge. That’s a God-thing: a stellar rise within a harsh work environment!
Takeaway: In this story, we can certainly see the recurring theme from Scripture that God promotes faithfulness. But clearly, the author wants us to take note first and foremost that our God is faithful. It is our Lord who orchestrates Joseph’s path and grants him favor with those in command over him, whether Potiphar or the warden or even Pharaoh, as the story progresses.
So what is Joseph’s part? Faithfully serve where planted—even in the darkest hours of life. Easier said than done? Yes, but our faithful Lord knows you and I and Joseph can do nothing apart from him. So he guides his chosen ones beyond self-pity to productivity. And the way forward is to rise above our bitter resentment or self-loathing to see and meet the needs of others around us. And a marvelous transformation will ensue: our hope will revitalize, and our painful memories will fade. For our faithful Lord is with us, and his grace moves us through the darkest valleys to the mounts of healing and flourishing when we lean on him.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that you are always faithful to us even when we waver in our faith. Would you please help us press through our darkest hours, leaning on you, that you might renew our hope in you and inspire us to move beyond our toxic feelings to see and serve the needs of others and bring you glory? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling