“And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” Genesis 39:20-23
There have been times - few and far between - when I have been accused of something that I did not do. Most of the time, though, when I was accused of wrong doing, I was guilty as charged. Joseph was not like me, and he was accused of trying to seduce his master’s wife when he refused her advances and even ran away from her, leaving his coat in her hand. She did not like that he evaded her advances, so she sought to damage him by telling her husband an atrocious lie. Joseph’s life was not going as he had planned, as he went from being his dad's favorite son to a slave in a foreign land who was falsely accused of a heinous crime.
I am not sure what Joseph thought as he sat there in prison, but I would have been furious, thinking about the evil that was committed against me. I would not have taken kindly to that mistreatment, and bitterness would have planted a seed in my heart. The Bible does not mention that Joseph got angry or bitter, but it does say that God was with him. God made him to prosper, even in a time when Joseph was against all odds and it seemed as though God had forgotten him. Joseph kept his faith in God, even though it would have been easy to bow out. God showed him mercy and favor and continued to be by his side even in the darkest prison in Egypt. He was wrongly accused and his master, that he did right by, was angry at him and cast him into prison with no hope of parole.
There is nothing like having God’s favor on your life, whatever the circumstances may be. Romans 8:31 states, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” I have been in personal situations in my life that were better than Joseph’s position, but I was in a worse spot because I lacked the favor of God. At those times, I pursued my own path and wanted to go my own way. I did not trust God’s plan, but yet sought my own plan. I allowed myself to get bitter and angry instead of being patient and waiting to see what God would do in my adverse situations. I lost sight of Romans 8:28, which reminds us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Joseph did not have the luxury of these comforting words from God's Word, but he lived it before God penned it. He trusted in the sovereignty of God, and he allowed God to use his circumstances to shape him in what He wanted him to be. He did not grow bitter, but he grew better. He allowed God to conform him into the image of his Son, and God’s favor was all over Him. God had a plan for Joseph, just as he has a plan for each of us if we will trust in Him and depend on Him, even when things don’t make sense.
Where are you today friend? Do you find yourself in the ‘prison’ of life? Are you questioning God’s goodness? Are you allowing Him to use your circumstances to change you into His image, or are you allowing the circumstances to change your heart against God? God sees the whole plan for our lives, while all we can see is the moment we are in. Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Will you trust the path He has for you? Will you lean on Him for understanding, or will you continue to rack your brain, trying to make sense of what is going on? May we acknowledge Him in all our ways, and may we walk the path that He lights for us. May we be conformed to the image of God, and may God get the glory as we rest in Him and trust His plan.
Stay in the fight!