WE are now getting to some very interesting lessons when we look at Genesis 39: 1-6.
In brief, let me note a few important lines in the Bible.
Verse 1 ... Joseph was sold to the Ishmeelites (Arab traders) by his brothers and was again sold to an Egyptian called Potiphar, the captain of the guards of the palace. (Potiphar was an important man in the country.)
Verse 2 ... (I love this line) ... And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man.
Verse 3 ... He was in the house of Potiphar, serving his master.
Verse 3 ... His master saw that the LORD was with him (Joseph) and made all that he did prosper with his hand.
Verse 5 ... Potiphar ... made him (Joseph) overseer over his house and all that he had ... and the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.
SOME POINTS AND LESSONS
1. GOD DOES NOT DESERT HIS OWN
One thing I learned from these verses was the care and protection that God showers on His own amidst very trying times when nobody seems to care – and almost everybody goes through such a period in their lives.
Joseph’s brothers sold him away – but God did not (He is not man). That is the amazing thing about God. When you make a pact with Him, He will always hold up His end of the deal, so to speak.
2. GOD PROSPERS HIS PEOPLE
Despite difficult conditions, God continues to prosper His own.
See that part in verse 2 – “And the LORD was with Joseph”. That is the key. The LORD being with Joseph is turning things around for him – it was not Joseph’s intelligence or bloodline.
It is a fact that God favours His own.
There are situations in life that God continues to show that His people will still be sheltered or protected in times of danger. That is comforting to those who truly believe.
The word prosperity here does not mean being wealthy. I think it is more like being blessed.
That teaches us being wealthy is not a measure of prosperity.
That also teaches us that “God with us” is more important than being wealthy. I have an acid test that you can apply in regards to whether you think believing in God or being wealthy is more valuable.
If you were in the middle of Pacific Ocean floating on a log with no land in sight – which would be better to have: God or your wealth?
3. OTHERS NOTICE THE “MAGIC”
Joseph had that kind of “magic” touch. He was not King Midas but where there were problems, he could easily find solutions for them – he was a problem solver and efficient manager.
Potiphar noticed that.
Note also that the Egyptians did not worship the God of the Hebrews ... and yet he had to admit that God was blessing his servant and all he did.
So, as someone who loved effectiveness and efficiency, Potiphar gave Joseph more responsibilities.
4. GOD BLESSES OTHERS WHO ARE WITH BELIEVERS
Verse 5 teaches another important truth.
Wherever believers are, that place and its people will be blessed not because of those people, but because of God’s people.
(There is a teaching in the Book of Corinthians where it states that God often blesses a home/children because at least one of the parents is a believer. Some children do not turn out well in life and yet they are given more chances in life to change ... and that is because at least one of their parents is a believer.)
With the New Year already over us, I wish that all of us learn a few things about the life of this dreamer and apply it to make our lives become better.
You know, from this story, it is clear that without God we cannot make it through some of our toughest challenges in life.
May you stand through those toughest times, if you go through some of them this year.
Also bear in mind the gravity of the challenge that Joseph found himself in – he was sold by his own people and the once “Hebrew Prince of Canaan” was now a slave in a foreign land where people spoke a different language, worshiped the Sun and there were no relatives to get help from.
I wish you all the best for 2014.
I have written up (or at least mentally wrote in indelible ink) what I wanted to achieve this year ... however, I am sure of one thing, if God says “yes”, then my plans are going to ticked off one by one.
If He thinks otherwise, then I will have to wait – or rearrange my plans.
I wish you all the best.