Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Genesis 38-40
Genesis 39:23 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.
The spotlight now focuses on Joseph and will until the end of Genesis. In today’s reading we find this fine young man in prison. He was forsaken by his brothers, sold into slavery by the Midianites, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, and imprisoned.
While in prison God was with him, and the Lord made all that Joseph did to prosper. So much so that the keeper of the prison placed the entire facility and prisoners under Joseph’s management. In this role, he met Pharaoh’s chief baker and butler. These two dreamed dreams and Joseph interpreted them, and they were fulfilled just as our hero predicted. The baker’s life ended, and the butler was reinstated to his position. Upon telling the butler that he would be restored to his previous place Joseph made one request, it’s found in 40:14. 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:
This didn’t happen, for the butler forgot all about Joseph (40:23). God was with him, but the one he had helped forgot about him. He was rejected, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten. Yet, the Lord was with him. Yes, two years later the butler remembered but, in the meantime, Joseph must have suffered great loneliness and probably despair. Yet, God was with him.
Many a pastor, parent, spouse, young and old alike may be in this same exact situation. No, not in prison necessarily but lonely. But God is with them. Think about the missionary on the field. Away from home and perhaps rejected by those they are giving their life to serve, forgotten. Yet, God is with them. Proof? Hebrews 13:5 …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Today through the Holy Spirit, God is with every child of God all the time. Yet, His presence will never fill the void of being forgotten, abandoned, and rejected. Not at least unless that person who experiences these unfortunate actions changes their perspective.
Fast forwarding to Genesis 50:20 the Bible records what Joseph said to his brothers concerning the things that had happened to him. …ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Joseph, at the latter end of his life, had the right perspective. Perhaps all that befell him up and until those two years in prison, the abandonment, loneliness, and rejection formed in him the necessary temperament to become the man God needed him to be.
So, dear child of God. You may think yourself forgotten, but not by God, and somewhere down the path of your life, you may learn why such things befell you. There is a reason. Best advice, keep your perspective focused on the Lord God, and if needed, suffer the things of this life that He allows to make you all that He wants, and needs, you to be.
William T. Howe Ph.D.