Joseph spent thirteen years waiting for God to rescue him. Thirteen years! He was sold by his brothers to slave traders, taken to a strange land, purchased as property by a powerful man, wrongly accused of attempted rape, thrown into prison, and forgotten by men. Don’t you think Joseph had reason to be angry, hurt, bitter, despondent? Yet he didn’t give up or walk away from his God. And God didn’t walk away from him.
Even in prison Joseph was a good, faithful worker. And God blessed him. “And the chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper. ” ~ Genesis 39:22-23
Do we serve like that? Remember, “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” ~ Ephesians 6:7-8
Joseph cared about his fellow prisoners. “When Joseph came to them in the morning and observed them, behold, they were dejected. And he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in confinement in his master’s house, ‘Why are your faces so sad today?’” ~ Genesis 40:6-7
Do we care for others, or are we focused only on our own sadness and difficulties?
“To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9
When Joseph saw their need, he made himself available for God’s work. “Then they said to him, ‘We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.’ Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.’” ~ Genesis 40:8
Do we allow God to use us, or are we just too busy or uncomfortable? “…as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” ~ Ephesians 6:5b-6
Out of prison- finally!- and standing in front of the most powerful man in the country, Joseph gave the glory to God. “Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.’” ~ Genesis 40:14-16
Are we giving God the glory for the good things in our life, for our abilities? “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” ~ James 1:17
Joseph did not stop serving God, even in his dark days of prison. “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” ~ Galatians 6:9-10