HONORING God’s PRESENCE in our ‘DAILY’ ACTIVITIES: "The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field." (Gen 39:2-5)
The key to Joseph’s whole life is expressed in these words: "the Lord was with him, and…the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand" (v. 3). This key phrase is repeated in verses 21 and 23 to describe Joseph in the prison and indicates that God cared for, protected and blessed Joseph. This provides the theological theme of Joseph’s story (vv. 3, 21, 23), and the link between Joseph and the patriarchs (28:15; see Acts 7:9). God’s beneficent presence was experienced even in slavery, outside the land of blessing!
Joseph’s master Potiphar literally saw God’s presence in Joseph’s life and the prosperity that evolved as a result of God’s presence (v. 3). God commanded Abraham and his descendants to be a blessing to everyone (see Gen. 12:2, 3), and Joseph exemplified that blessing. Because of God’s blessing, Joseph was made an overseer of Potiphar’s household affairs. The following five points about Joseph’s life are worth noting:
- It was God who prospered Joseph (v. 2, 3). All blessings and gifts in our lives come from God alone (James 1:17).
- We may be separated from our friends and family (like Joseph), but no one can deprive us of God’s presence as He has promised to be with us forever (Matt. 28:20b; Hebrews 13:5b)
- It is God’s presence with us that makes all we do prosperous in what we do, and we can do nothing without God’s help (John 15:5b).
- Joseph exemplifies the faithful steward and illustrates the principle that “one who is faithful in a little will be given charge over much” (Matt. 25:21; 1 Cor. 4:2).
- God’s guidance in Joseph’s life actually was to prepare for Jacob’s household a way out of the dangerous conditions, which Joseph only realized in the later part of his life (Gen. 50:20).
Joseph spent two difficult years in the prison, but he held to his faith and did what he could to serve others. This experience helped to “put iron into his soul” (Psalms 105:17–22). If God controls us, it makes little difference who commands us! Like Joseph, God will reward us greatly beyond our wildest expectation in His perfect time!
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." (Col 3:23-24)