The events unfolding in the story of Joseph are preparing him for a much greater role in God’s sovereign plan for His chosen people. The scriptures tell us repeatedly that “The Lord was with Joseph; He gave him success in all he did, and He prospered not only Joseph but the household he served.” The treasure Joseph possessed, which no betrayal, false accusation or unjust imprisonment could ever diminish, was the presence of God in his life!
Joseph was not shaken by his circumstances. He was respected and admired, given considerable authority in Potiphar’s household and then in prison. There was something special about Joseph; others were drawn to him and his character, integrity and faithfulness. He walked in the ways of the Lord—godliness. The presence of God in his life provided his sustenance and strength. I’m sure he had lots of time in the pit and in prison to cultivate with God a relationship of listening and believing. I wonder whether Joseph looked back in the midst of his adversity and remembered his first prophetic dream, which incensed his brothers and started his journey. I wonder whether it gave Joseph hope and assurance for days to come.
It’s difficult for us to understand sometimes how God is working in our lives. We long to know Him more, to feel His hand upon us and be assured we are in step with Him. How do we respond to difficulties in our lives? Do we have the same disdain for sin? Do we see how it grieves the Lord? Godliness isn’t easy! David asks in Psalm 24, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?” The answer is “those with clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in idols or false gods.” Integrity, faithfulness, and trust characterize the people who belong to God. Joseph stands as a powerful testimony to us to “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him when He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). God used Joseph to bring His chosen people together as he rescued them from famine. He is weaving together his covenant plan to make Israel a blessing to the nations and to bring salvation to the Jews and the Gentiles!
Joseph never had the whole picture, and neither do we, but we trust, we lean in and listen, and we allow our precious Lord to lead us where He may!