Genesis 39: penthouse or prison

{The story of Joseph resumes, and the buying and selling of humans is nothing new.}

“Now Joseph had been taken to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master.”

Son of Jacob. Grandson of Abraham. Hebrew royalty, so to speak. Favored son of his father. He was no down and out. This ain’t a rags to riches kind of story.

It’s a God was with him story.

The Lord was with Joseph. With him as everything he did succeeded. As he found favor upon favor, being put in charge of his master’s house. As he experienced the blessings of God over everything he had.

And when Joseph underwent the temptations of a woman throwing herself at him, God was with him. With him in the false allegations and his fall from Potipher’s grace. With him in the prison. With him in the loneliness; while he was missing his father’s house.

We are well to remember that Joseph didn’t know his story as it unfolded. He couldn’t skip to the end and see the redemption that was coming. There was nothing easy about Joseph’s story, but there is something so good in it.

We’ve all had, and are having, hard stories. But when we learn to believe that God is with us in the hard places, we will also learn that just because something is hard, it doesn’t mean it isn’t very good.

But here in the middle of our story where we can’t see how it all shakes out, or the redemption that’s coming, we are trying to figure out the God with us parts. And sometimes, maybe we get confused. Like, we think that surely God is with us when our church is full and everyone likes us. Or when people are getting saved at our altar calls and the sick are healed at the laying on of our hands. When our marriage is good and our job is good and our ministry is good and it’s just raining goodness.

But not when we’re binge eating again because we still haven’t learned how to stop eating our emotions. Or when we fight with our spouse for the third time this week. Not when we barely make eye contact with people because we just don’t want to have to engage one more time today. Not when we have crawled into a hole with our depression and just don’t have the strength to crawl back out.

When our water gets shut off because we can’t pay the bill. When our character is being questioned. When none of the dreams we had are coming true. When this sickness won’t leave, or the diagnosis is a shock to our system. When the loss feels like it might break your heart so hard it will never recover.

Those aren’t the signs that God is with us, right?

But this is what He really said…

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

The evidence that He is with us is simple. He said He would be, and He doesn’t lie. His faithfulness is all the evidence we need.

Let’s lift our vision higher. Stop measuring God by earthly standards. He is with us, always. Redemption is our story and heaven is our home. Whether you are in the penthouse or the prison, look up. God is with you.

4 thoughts on “Genesis 39: penthouse or prison

  1. Reading your teachings is like panning for gold! I always find how much the Lord is present in every situation through the assurances you share. I will be sharing this with several in my life. Thank you Lord for Karla, her allegiance to you. Helping others focus on Your faithfulness, Your companionship.

    Liked by 1 person

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