You Can’t Keep A God-Loving Man Down
“So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.'”
I wake up early each day, usually between 5-5:30 am. But this morning, God woke me up extra early. He told me to get up and pray, and to read the story of Joseph. No, He didn’t say this verbally, God speaks to our hearts 99% of the time. The more we walk by His Spirit, the clearer His voice becomes.
It’s nearly summer here in Missouri, the sun pokes its head up about 5 A.M. this time of year, but this morning it was still dark when I let Harley out the back door. So coffee in hand, I made my way downstairs, cracked my Bible, and cracked a window. The sound of the birds at daybreak is spectacular, they are so excited.
So I prayed for others, and myself, and then began to read about Joseph.
Now, to be clear, I’m not referring to Jesus’ earthly father, but instead, the Joseph of Genesis. A man who had something very special about him from the time he was young. I’m gonna skip ahead and talk about his position in Egypt, but the backstory is that his dad loved him very, very much–so much, that his brothers became jealous and sold him into slavery…He was a good kid, and this was not fair.
Not very fair at all…but that’s okay, because God is fair, you’ll see.
Eventually, Joseph had become a slave in the house of an Egyptian official named Potiphar. The Bible says, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master” (Genesis 39:2).
Notice that God is still making crooked paths, straight, for Joseph–EVEN IN HIS TURMOIL.
And because of that, his captor took notice: “When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant” (Genesis 39:3). Joseph’s heart was right, he loved God. Even the non-believer took notice to this, and couldn’t help but promote Joseph!
Potiphar eventually put him in charge of everything he owned! (See Genesis 39:4) And when he did so, “the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph”! (Genesis 39:5). Because of him! Potiphar then trusted Joseph so much that “he didn’t concern himself with anything except the food he ate” (Gen 39:6).
His captor eventually just sat back and said, “All this is yours. Just make sure I have some good meals each day.” DO YOU SEE THAT?! The people around Joseph were coat-tailing his blessings from God! How amazing! God saw that the heart of Joseph was so dead-set on Him, that He blessed even the non-believers by proxy. Myyyyyyyyyyyyy…GOODNESS! C’mon somebody! They were skimming the good stuff!
The people in the life of Joseph were being blessed because of this God-loving man being in their house! And they didn’t even believe in the One True God, but they knew that Joseph did!
Now, you would think that this is the end of the story, but no. The devil ain’t gonna let that slide. You see, Joseph was a very good-looking man. The Bible says that he was “well-built and handsome,” (Gen 39:6) and Potiphar’s wife took notice.
One day, she came onto him very aggressively, “Come to bed with me!” (Gen 39:7).
I gotta be honest with you, this man has my respect. Someone who doesn’t love God would be like, “Oh yeah. This is my lucky day. This dumb man put me in charge of his house, and now his wife wants me.” BUT NOPE! He didn’t do that! He knew that God was watching, and that his blessings were coming directly from Him.
Joseph refused. “My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).
This evil, spoiled woman, was not going to take no for an answer. She kept on and kept on, telling him to come sleep with her–and Joseph just kept avoiding her until one day she grabbed him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But Joseph ran off! The bad news is that she still had his cloak in her hand (Genesis 39:12).
Long story short, she accuses him of rape. Potiphar, FURIOUS, had him thrown in prison…a good man who loved God, just trying to do the right thing gets framed.
So, so sad…or is it?
The Bible says that “While Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness AND GRANTED HIM FAVOR IN THE EYES OF THE PRISON WARDEN!” (Genesis 39:20,21)
C’MON SOMEBODY! Do you see what God does for those who love Him?! What the devil uses for harm, God uses for our purpose!
“ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE GOD AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE!” (Romans 8:28)
And that prison warden liked Joseph SO MUCH, that he put him in charge of the entire prison! (See Genesis 39:22) WHAT!? HA! THIS IS SO GOOD!!!
I could keep going with this, telling you how the devil kept trying to defeat Joseph, but over the next few chapters of Genesis, he keeps getting promoted! Higher and higher, and higher, until eventually, he gets put in charge of the entire land of Egypt–ONLY SECOND TO PHARAOH!
Pharaoh then adorns Joseph in beautiful jewelry, regal clothing, and puts him in a fancy chariot, commanding everyone to respect him (See Genesis 41:41-43).
…It is mind-blowing what God can do when you show Him how much you care about Him!
What ensues next, after Joseph is named VP of Egypt? A famine breaks loose in all the land. And guess what? His brothers come to Egypt to get food, and who is in charge of the food? Yep. Their little, happy brother, whom they thought was dead! Imagine the fear they felt when they realized it was Joseph standing in front of them!
But Joseph doesn’t pounce. He doesn’t have them killed. No, instead he shows them love. He said to them, “It was not you who sent me here, but God” (see Genesis 45:8). “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
And then he took care of them.
My friend, if you are in a battle right now, if life is hard and you are just trying to love God, take heart! Continue to stay focused on what God wants from you. DON’T GIVE UP! DON’T COMPROMISE! GOD SEES YOU! He sees you, and He loves you. He is using all of this–ALL OF IT–for a great, GRAND purpose, that will one day make sense! It might not make sense to you on this side of heaven, but when you finally get Home, you can sit down with Jesus and He’ll tell you the story of your life–how absolutely proud of you He was, and still is. Keep going. He is with you.
A prayer for you: God I want to thank you for hardships. I now know that anything you allow to happen in my life, you use for good! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. STRENGTHEN THEM! Help them to understand that you see their situation, and that you FEEL their pain. ENCOURAGE THEM TODAY! If they’ve slipped off course, guide them back onto your path. Remove any guilt they have, and help them to begin to once again TRUST you, even when it hurts. You WILL get them to where they need to be! THANK YOU! YOU ARE GOOD! In Christ’s name, amen.
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