In Genesis 37:20 Joseph’s brothers said, “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of those cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him…” Later in Genesis 37:26-27 they changed their mind when Judah [one of Joseph’s brothers] said “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him…” Consequently in Genesis 39:1 Joseph is taken down to Egypt and sold as a slave into Potiphar’s house.
Sounds like Joseph is cursed, doesn’t it? But check out what Genesis 39:2 says: “The Lord was with Joseph…”
After rising to second in command in Potiphar’s househould, Joseph is then falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife. In Genesis 39:17-18 she falsely stated: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” Consequently, when Potiphar heard the story his wife told him he burned with anger and put Joseph in prison (Genesis 39:19-20).
Again, sounds like Joseph has been abandoned by God, doesn’t it? But check out what Genesis 39:20-21 says: “…but while Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him…”
Later, Pharoah’s cupbearer was put in prison. Joseph interprets his dream and tells him he’ll soon be restored to his position and Joseph tells him that when he is restored to remember him and do what he can to get him out of the prison. But Genesis 39:23 records “The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” So Joseph spent two more years in prison.
Surely God couldn’t be with someone who had so many problems, right? But nothing had changed from Genesis 39:2 and 39:20-21. God was still with Joseph! And thirteen years after Joseph was sold as a slave God’s plan for Joseph finally came to pass – and Joseph became second in command to Pharoah himself. All Joseph experienced was to get him to the place God always intended for him. If his brothers never sold him he never would’ve got in Egypt. If Potiphar’s wife never falsely accused him he never would’ve got in the prison. If he was never in the prison he wouldn’t have met the cupbearer. And if he never met the cupbearer, the cupbearer couldn’t mention Joseph to Pharoah. And in hindsight Joseph saw clearly God’s plan, but this wasn’t the case during the thirteen years of trial and tribulation. In hindsight we see that the tough spots were God working out his perfect plan for our lives. But while we’re in the tough spot, we sometimes feel like God has abandoned us…
But here’s the good news if you are a child of God: THE LORD IS WITH YOU!!!