I have read this story several times since childhood but never bothered to understand the details of Joseph’s life until Grace ma’am taught us one day. Later in life I could relate my life to his in many ways.No, I was not sold as a slave to a foreigner, but I was all by myself in the corporate world at the beginning of my career just as he was in Egypt.
To read the story of Joseph, click the link: Genesis 37,39-45.
Now lets see some of the lessons we can learn from Joseph’s life.
- God will bless you in your unpleasant situation Yes, you read it right. No matter you like the way your life is going or not, God will bless you if you are in the right place where he wants you to be. You might not like your job or you are waiting for some miracle to happen that will help you escape from your present situation but our God works in a different way.
Genesis 39:2,3 says “the lord was with Joseph and made him successful in everything he did”- this was when Joseph was in Potiphar’s house. Later in Genesis 39:21, its written as ” the lord was with Joseph and blessed him” this time Joseph was in prison for the sin he refused to commit. Note that the lord did not help him escape from Egypt and go back to his father. Rather, the lord was with Joseph and made him successful in the tasks given to him by his Egyptian master and the lord was with Joseph in the prison and blessed him there. Many a times we only wanted to run away from situations which we are not ready to accept but God does not want us to give up on things so quickly.
- You will be a blessing for others Genesis 39:5 says “Because of Joseph, the lord blessed the household of Potiphar.” Joseph entered Potiphar’s house as a slave and turned out to be a blessing for his family which was also noticed by Potiphar himself. What joy it is to know that god will bless the people around us because of us.
- Gaining your masters trust Genesis 39: 4,6 tells us about the trust Joseph gained through the quality of work he did to his Egyptian master. Genesis 39: 21-23 tells about Joseph finding favour in the eyes of the jailer.
“the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” Genesis 39: 21-23
There is a huge difference between pleasing someone and gaining someone’s trust. If our intention is to please people, the list goes on and on! It’s never ending. Even Bible discourages such act. The only way someone can trust us is by our honesty and sincerity. Sometimes we might not even get noticed by men for our works, But remember, our omnipresent god is watching over us all the time. As Paul says,
“Whatever you do,work at it with all your heart, as working for the lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23
This is the best way to motivate ourself and keep going when we are at our lowest point in life.
- Fear of God Joseph refused to sin with his Master’s wife in spite of her repeated persuasion (Genesis 39:v8-12), he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. Probably the best technique to keep oneself clean — is to run away from sin.
- Patience This is the hardest virtue. In a world that is moving quickly, waiting for something is really painful. But, our God is a patient God. So, what’s wrong if he expects the same from us? It took 17 years for Joseph to become a leader from being a slave. God has a perfect time for everything. A time, never too late nor early. The waiting time that God provides is the time for us to prepare for our calling and trust in him to work things right.
I would like to share a song by The Greenes, which is very apt for this post.
When God has another plan
Forsaken by his brothers, didn’t fit the scene
Being made a slave was not what Joseph dreamed
The coat of many colors was stained with blood and lies
But from this divine appointment, a ruler would arise
When God has another plan, walk on and just say yes
When God has another plan, be assured that He knows best
When all your dreams are shattered, rest in His sufficient grace
We don’t have to understand, when God has another plan
Alone and broken hearted, questions fill your mind
Changes can be hard that come by God’s design
But if you could see tomorrow with a view from Heaven’s Throne
Every unexpected struggle has led you closer home