“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous 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 that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace (favor) in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (under his authority). And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” Genesis 39:2-5
I had a serious girlfriend the summer of ‘96, and even came down from Chicago to spend the summer with her in Phoenix. I thought I was in love, but I was only 20 years old and still had much to learn of what love was truly about. We started off great, and I thought she might be the one for me. She was young as well, and I am sure she was annoyed by me at times. Well, I can guarantee she was annoyed by me as I was immature and really did not treat her as I should. She once asked me what my favorite meal was, and then made me that for dinner one night, which I was throughly impressed by. Internally, I took a deep breath of contentment and thought this was something I could get used to.
That was the first and last meal she ever made me, and little did I know how quickly things would change. We attended a party and a guy was there I did not know too well, and I did not know he was moving in on my girl. He had made some inroads with my girlfriend and she started to act differently with me, but I was too dense to truly pick up on what was happening. We were previously inseparable that whole summer, but this particular Saturday, she said she had to work so we were not able to hang out. I was disappointed, but understood, so I went to the park to play basketball.
I was curious as to what time she got off work as we usually would just hang out after her shift. But this time, she did not even offer that as she said she would be too tired. Feeling suspicious, I called her pager voicemail and quickly figured out her password and had access to her voicemails. I heard a message from her brother that stated, “Have Jeff (this same guy) call his mom when you guys get out of the movies.” My heart sank and anger filled my body. I wanted to cry, and I wanted to rage like a mad dog. I begged my cousins to take me out looking for this guy as I knew some spots he might be at, but they refused and told me I was crazy. I was left alone with my emotions, and I felt betrayed, broken hearted, and unsure of what would come next. I can’t say I know how Joseph felt, but I do know what it is like to swallow the bitter pill of betrayal and disloyalty.
I think of Joseph in these verses and how he must have felt after being sold by his brothers who were supposed to care for and love him, but yet they despised and hated him. They sought to take his life and then changed their minds and sold him as a slave. I cannot imagine the thoughts that Joseph entertained, but it seems as though he was not bitter or angry about what had happened to him. I cannot understand how the Bible does not mention any bitterness or anger, as I would have been bent on revenge. Joesph did what was right in spite of what was done to him, and the Lord made Him to prosper. In the most difficult of situations, the Lord was with him, even when it seemed he was all alone.
Has someone ever been disloyal to you? Have you ever felt betrayed? What was your reaction to this? Did you have the attitude of Joesph or the attitude I had? Matthew 5:44 states, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Do you do as this verse commands, or do you carry hate and bitterness in your heart? May we remember God is always with us, even when it seems we are alone. God knows all about betrayal and disloyalty as we are often active participants in this area. May we not seek revenge, but may we forgive as we have been forgiven.
Stay in the fight!