Genesis 39:1 (KJB) “And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.”
Starting in Genesis chapter 37 is the account of young Joseph the young but favored son of Israel. Most of us have read the story many times about how Joseph became hated by his brothers. The Bible tells us in Genesis 37:3 that Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age and Israel made him a coat of many colors. In the preceding verse, we see that Joseph had brought an evil report to his father concerning his brothers. In verse four we learn when his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all of the children they hated him so much that could not even say anything nice to him. Joseph dreams a couple of dreams that we know looking back through history were prophetic about what would happen in Joseph’s life. Joseph’s dreams prophesied that he would someday have dominion over his family. These dreams did not aid in Joseph’s cause to be loved by his family.
Later in the account, Joseph is sent to check up on his brothers as they are tending the flocks. The brothers quickly hatch a plan to kill Joseph! It is obvious some of the brothers were harboring a great deal of hate for Joseph. Reuben and Judah convince the others spare Joseph and to throw him into a pit and then later sell him like old shoes to some passing Midianites. The brothers take his coat of many colors and dipped it into some goats blood and return it to his dad. They lie and tell Israel they found this bloody coat and want to know if it is Joseph’s. Jacob tears his clothes and goes in mourning for his son because he knew it was his coat since he had made it for Joseph. Israel presumed a wild animal attacked Joseph and killed him.
In Genesis chapter 39 we learn Joseph is sold to Potiphar in Egypt. Joseph makes Potipher prosper and is put in charge of all he has.
Genesis 39:2 (KJB) “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”
Things were looking up at this point for Joseph. But as we know Potiphers wife sets her sites on Joseph and when she fails lies to Potipher who has Joseph thrown in Jail. Another tough break for Joseph it would seem. But God again was with Joseph.
Genesis 39:21 (KJB) “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
The Kings butler and baker is thrown into prison with Joseph and have dreams while they are imprisoned. Joseph interprets the dreams and both men a few days later are let out of prison and go back to their former positions with the Pharoah. Joseph trusted they would go back to their positions because God was with him and he trusted God. Joseph always gave the honor to God. Genesis 40:8 (KJB) “And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.”
The butcher and baker were going back to Pharaoh and Joseph asked them for a favor.
Genesis 40:14 (KJB) “But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:”
Do you think that young Joseph’s faith was tested waiting on God to provide for him because it was two long years later before Pharoah has a dream and is looking for someone to give him the interpretation? The butler remembers that he failed to follow through on the request Joseph made when the baker had a dream.
Genesis 41:9-12 (KJB) “Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker: And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.”
And here is the rest of the story….
Joseph never did anything to deserve the hatred from his family. He didn’t deserve to be thrown into a pit. He was only following his dad’s orders. He didn’t deserve to be sold as a slave into Egypt. He didn’t deserve to be unjustly accused of attacking Potiphers wife. He didn’t deserve to be put in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. But God was with Joseph.
So why did all this bad stuff happen to Joseph? God was with Joseph. God had a plan and used each of these circumstances to place Joseph into a place where his trust in God allowed him to save not only his family but the known world. A great famine was coming and God used Joseph to teach Pharoh and Egypt how to prepare and save everyone.
Genesis 41:55-57 (KJB) “And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.”
In this account of the life of Joseph, we learn that God is always with us, even as we face adverse situations in this life. Secondly, God always works out every detail of our situation even when we cannot see the value of our present suffering, we must choose to have faith in His power and presence. Last, every person faces both days of sun and rain as he or she sojourns in this wicked world. Present suffering produces future glory and blessings when God is involved in our life!