How are you when you feel forgotten by God or no longer sense his presence? Some people act out against God with an air of entitlement while others despair. Joseph seems to suffer injustice and human abandonment with grace and faithfulness. In this chapter, the author of Genesis is not so much making Joseph out to be our moral example, but showing the surpassing greatness of God’s presence in Joseph’s life. “The Lord” is mentioned 8 times in 23 verses. God was with Joseph and brought him success (See the bookends in verses 2, 3 & 21, 23).
Joseph learned early on in life through a dream that God had a purpose for him in ruling over his family. This vision for the future along with God’s persistent work in his life gave Joseph patience in affliction. When his family rejects him and sells him into slavery, by God’s providence he is bought by one of the Pharaoh’s officials and then is promoted in leadership. God used this painful journey to set in place much greater events. God took something evil and was using it to bless others through Joseph.
God is a Present Redeemer
Just when Joseph seems to be thriving, Potiphar’s wife makes him the object of lust leading to a false accusation and subsequent imprisonment. But again, God is with him even in jail and begins to raise him up, showing the Lord’s redemptive work.
In many ways, Joseph is a typological foreshadowing of Jesus. He is rejected by his own people, falsely accused and condemned only to bring blessings to others. Joseph’s life saved many people from starvation, whereas Jesus’s death saved many more from damnation. Jesus is God with us, Immanuel.
Taking It Home: Read and memorize Romans 8:28. Remind yourself that God is always with you and working to accomplish his purposes regardless of your perceptions.