Genesis 37:36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Life is filled with all kinds of experiences – many good, some not-so-good, and some downright awful. I think at this point, Joseph probably viewed his situation in the downright awful category. How do you adjust from being free and part of a family – deeply loved by your father, and suddenly find yourself as a slave – sold by your brothers no less – in a foreign land?
Joseph had a short time to come to a decision on how he was going to respond to his situation. He might have viewed escape as impossible and viewed slavery as his lot for the rest of his life. His attitudes and demeanor could have played an important role in who he was purchased by. Did he realize or have a clue that the events of his life were being orchestrated by the God of his fathers?
He was purchased by Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. At this point, the scriptures note that, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…” – so much so, that Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph and was giving him success in whatever he did.
Remember, this is occurring long before Moses and the law. Joseph’s knowledge of God would have been from the stories passed on by Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. Yet Joseph responded rightly to what was occurring in his life.
While it is difficult for us to relate to being sold into slavery, there are those in the world right now that are having this happen to them. Famine, plague, war, bombings, slavery, natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes – they are occurring now, all around us. In our lives it might be loss of jobs, or loved ones – disappointments, accidents, bankruptcy, acts of violence, persecution. These things happen – things that we don’t want – wouldn’t choose – wouldn’t want to happen even to people we don’t like. But they happen to us or people we care about. God expects us to respond consistently with our faith – not like the world responds.
As Christians, our Lord has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. In the midst of every situation, no matter what happens, He is there. There is nothing He cannot redeem. Pray that this knowledge of the Lord being with you – ALWAYS – becomes a rock-solid reality in your heart. It will transform you – and those around you.