Joseph was the son of Jacob (the namesake of the nation of Israel), grandson of Isaac, and the great-grandson of Abraham! He was the youngest of 12 sons, and was the apple of his father's eye. He had everything going his way. Then, in Genesis 39:1-2, we learn that Joseph's brothers became jealous of him and eventually sold him into slavery. He was taken to Egypt, and his world was turned upside-down! But, the scripture tells us that the LORD (YHWH) was with Joseph, and he became a successful man.
The passage goes on to say (v3-5) that Joseph became the overseer of Potipher's household. The LORD blessed Potipher because of Joseph. Joseph's success was while he was still in the circumstance of slavery.
Faith is choosing to see your circumstances through God's perspective.
In verse 9b, Potipher's wife tries to seduce Joseph. Joseph responds in verse 9b, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" He resists and she tells a lie about Joseph which gets him thrown in prison (v20). He was lonely, had no family support, no advocates, no education, and no encouragement. In Gen 39:21-23 we read, "BUT YHWH was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love." Joseph was put in charge of all the prisoners, and whatever he did, God made it succeed.
Success is measured by your faithfulness - not your circumstances.
In one day, Joseph goes from prisoner to 2nd in command for one of the most powerful countries in the known world. He was wise and stored food for the upcoming famine that he saw through a dream. Joseph's family comes and are eventually reunited with Joseph. The entire family moves to Egypt, and they quickly grow to become the nation of Israel.
In Genesis 50:18-21a we learn that Jacob dies and Joseph's brothers get nervous. They fall at Joseph's feet and admit that he has the right to make them slaves. Joseph stays consistent with his character and promises to provide food for them and their children.
We can't control the circumstances, but we do choose the response to those circumstances.
To Discuss Today:
1. Take some time to survey your "circumstances". Where are they good? Where are they challenging?
2. Imagine what God's perspective could be regarding your circumstances. What could be some reasons for your current situation?
3. How will you be faithful in the midst of your circumstances? Does God have a plan or purpose for you? Do you have something to give?