“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man ..” ( Genesis 39:2)
When we and the world around us think that we are at the brink of hopelessness, seemingly the end of a thing, look up, seek the Lord and gain His perspective. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours and when we find time to diligently seek Him and the truth of His Word, it changes the way we think to conform into His when the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes to see what He sees.
When where we are at the moment does not yet reflect what He has promised us, then, it is not the end. It is not the world that dictates the end of a thing. It is the SEED of God’s Word that dictates the end of a thing. It’s the WORD directly spoken and revealed into our hearts that dictates the end of a thing, and it is always in a place of rich fulfillment.
God’s Word is never lesser as time goes by. God’s Word is always GREATER as time goes by. A seed planted on fertile ground does not remain a seed. It will always grow with a great potential to bear fruit. Progressive revelation is always available to those who diligently seek Him and it always postures us to increase from faith to faith, from glory to glory.
Let us look at the life to Joseph, the son of Jacob. He did not have a journey that showed us the kind of expected progression. There were bumps and potholes, twists and turns, yet he remained faithful in spite of what he went through.
We always need to consider that we cannot put God in a box and assume that our way of thinking is His way. He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts that we ourselves do not. He knows what we need to let go, calibrate or recalibrate in order for us to conform according to who He created us to be. He is the Potter. We are not! He is the Good Shepherd. We are the sheep called to follow His voice. He is the Master and we are His masterpieces created for His purpose.
Joseph had two godly dreams in Genesis 37:5-11.
5Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Because of these divine dreams, Joseph’s brothers hated and envied him. This is apart from him being loved by Jacob more, having been made and given a tunic of many colors.
The fruit of his brothers’ roots of hatred and envy caused them to conspire against him to kill him. But God still had great plans for Joseph. Instead of him being done away with, he was put in an empty pit. Later on he was sold to the Ishmaelites and was taken down to Egypt.
Many a times, when the favor of God is obviously and undoubtedly displayed in our lives, it causes opposition to arise. Not all people will celebrate us nor rejoice with us. But the good news is, because God’s favor is effortlessly put on view in our lives, we should not let the opinions of men bother us. Instead, we need to be mindful that because it is all by His grace, it is meant to reach and touch those people He meant to be reached and touched through us.
Joseph did not allow the pit to change his dream even if he was being sold as a slave. He did not allow his condition to alter the revelation of his dream. He did not allow it to cause his heart to be sour against his family. He remained steadfast and faithful. This must be so because his personally revealed dream and intimate encounter with the Lord gave rise to his pursuit to experience it. His divine direct contact with the King of kings and Lord of lords made him strong, courageous and unstoppable.
“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” (Genesis 39:2)
How ironic it is to think that even if Joseph was a slave, he was called a SUCCESSFUL MAN. But purely because the Lord was with Joseph, he was called so.
If we are to equate this into today’s world’s way of thinking, there is no way he can be called successful. But, God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours. They are higher, yet they can be accessed when we find time to be diligent in seeking and meditating His Word.
Being successful in the eyes of God is all about our heavenly identity, knowing who we are in Christ and this should be established in our hearts once and for all. Therefore, being successful is not conditional. It is not proportionate to what we have in our possessions nor the positions we hold. It is our inner identity, rooted and grounded in the finished work of Jesus Christ through His Word revealed to us. His indwelling in us and him being, walking and journeying with us is what makes us successful.
“I myself will go with you and give you success.” (Exodus 33:14 TLB)
When Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, bought Joseph when he arrived in Egypt, the Bible says, “His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.” (Genesis 39:3)
Where the Lord leads us, there is always a purpose attached to it. We may not know it yet, but in due time, He will reveal it to us. Thus, with God, it is inevitable to learn how to comfortably walk in His mysteries, because if we do not, then we cannot comfortably walk by faith. It is imperative to trust Him in the unknown for He is Omniscient, the ALL-Knowing God. He knows the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. And yes, He is and He knows what is in the middle.
When Joseph was in Potiphar’s house, his master SAW that the Lord was with Him and that the Lord prospered in everything he put his hand to. I believe that this also correlates to what Jesus said that He will make His home in us. He will love us and manifest Himself to us. The manifestation of His presence in our lives are not meant to be hidden, but to be visible. This is the fruit of the Seed of His Word planted in the fertile ground of our hearts and fruits are designed to be seen.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:2-3)
Because of God’s favor in Joseph’s life, he found favor in his master’s sight and served him. He was then promoted from being a slave into an overseer of his house, and the Lord caused blessings to fall upon all they had in the house and in the field.
Just as everything was going good in his life, there came another detour. Joseph was handsome in form and appearance and after a time, his master’s wife cast her longing eyes on him and went after him. But Joseph remained faithful and responded, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:8-9)
When the same thing happened again, Joseph avoided the same way. Unfortunately his garment got caught in her hand as he fled to get out of the house.
Because of what happened, his master took Joseph and put him into prison. Yet, in Genesis 39:21-23, it says, “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.“
Obviously, Joseph still had the right attitude despite him being wronged. He trusted God above anything and everything else. There was a knowing deep in his heart that what God started in his life, the dream that He revealed to him, He is faithful to fulfill it and make it good. He had faith in the goodness of God that sooner or later He will take him to his destiny.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, darkness, dominion and might. There is a force that wants us to lose our integrity, dignity, honesty, loyalty to God and men. There is an invisible force that is after our God-given dreams and the anointing that God deposited in us to fulfill them. The force wants us to quit what God called us to do. But the good news is, when the enemy comes in, like a flood the Holy Spirit raises up a banner that will cause the opposing force to stop and allows His anointing in us to grow.
Indeed our God-given dreams do not terminate in confinement. Where we are is not our permanent address. He did not take us this far just to leave us the same way, bound within the limitations of our present condition.
The coat of many colors caused Joseph’s brothers to hate and envy. This time his garment was used to frame him. Hmmmm … the voice of the accuser of the brethren with his lies, lies and lies was on a loose and got into action.
We, therefore, cannot be ignorant of his schemes. We are to stay alert! Be sober and vigilant We are to watch out for our great enemy, the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1Peter 5:8) We bombard ourselves with the truth of His Word to dislodge any lie that comes against us. When we hear something that does not align with His Word, we face and confront it with confidence in spite of what we are seeing before our very eyes. We fight a good fight of faith and this puts our hearts to rest. Our inner peace is most vital to take hold of when things do not go our way.
Those blessing blockers and dream stealers were used by the dark force for Joseph to harbor resentment and dwell on betrayal so that he can never have the fulfillment and the manifestation of his dream and vision. But God called him. God chose him. God was with him. God prospered Him. And God will never fail him.
Joseph must have such a deep encounter with God regarding his dreams. God must have revealed to Him something extraordinary and special that no one else could comprehend but him alone and that he needed no other explanation nor interpretation. Those dreams caused God and Joseph to have that intimate bond, the King of Glory revealing Himself to him until he became a door of destiny to others.
Before long, the palace’s chief butler and chief baker offended the king and were put in prison where Joseph was confined. Coincidence? Nahhh! Our God is a God of purpose.
One night, both of them had dreams that no one could interpret. When Joseph saw how troubled they were, he inquired of them and they told him about their dreams. Because God was with Joseph from whom dream interpretations come, he gave them the interpretations liberally. After three days, their dreams came to pass. The chief butler was restored to his butlership and the chief baker was hanged.
At the end of two full years, the Pharaoh himself had dreams. He called for all the magicians and wise men, but none of them could interpret his dreams. Only then the chief butler remembered Joseph and he was right then and there called to present himself to the Pharaoh.
Joseph gave an answer of peace to Pharaoh when his dreams were interpreted, that seven years of abundance was upcoming followed by seven years of severe famine in the land. He told the Pharaoh what needs to be done to prepare themselves as the Lord revealed His thoughts and ways to Joseph. Soon after that, Joseph was found discerning and wise by the Pharaoh that cause him to rise to power.
To cut the long story short, when famine hit the land, Joseph’s family heard of Egypt’s abundant supply of food. His brothers went to Egypt to buy food and that was when the manifestation of his dream came to pass, when his father and all his brothers bowed down to him, apart from all the people under Pharaoh.
Joseph’s journey from the pit to the palace was not in a blink of an eye nor smooth as a highway. He was seventeen years old when he had his dream. He was thirty nine when he stood before the Pharaoh. Talk about quite a number of years before such great turnaround. Talk about steadfastness, faithfulness and L-O-N-G S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G, patience to its high degree. He waited with such an attitude, trained and tested to rule a nation next in power under Pharaoh. As His Word says, “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:4)
The character test of Joseph was exceptional because God’s plan for him was exceptional, but it was possible because GOD WAS WITH HIM.
What caused him to ascend and break through the prison cell was by interpreting the dreams of the cup bearer and butler that led him into the interpretations of Pharaoh’s dreams that no one could possibly do, except Joseph because God was with Him. Had he not have divine revelations of his own dreams beforehand, he would not have the position to interpret other people’s dreams. The gift that he freely received from God, he freely used to set others free.
Unless the message is part of the messenger, one cannot effectively diffuse it.
Then, Joseph assured his brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21)
When God is with us, in spite of the wrong things done to us, we are graced to rise above the situation we are in. The Lord our God is the Vindicator. As we put our trust in Him that He knows His plans for us, plans to prosper us and never to harm us, to give us a hope and a beautiful future, we rest in His goodness and feed on His faithfulness. He fills our hearts with love and compassion towards those who have wronged us. It is not by our might, not by our power but by the Spirit of God. It is He Who is all the while effectually at work in us, energizing us, creating in us the power and desire both to will and to do, for His own purpose, delight and satisfaction. Indeed, it is His goodness that brings us to repentance. His goodness changes the way we think about ourselves and those around us.
Joseph’s life was written in the Bible for a purpose. It is to show us one facet of revelation among countless ones of what it means to have God with us. It reflects the steadfastness of God’s love and grace towards him that enabled him to walk the same way towards others. This may be a part of the Old Covenant, but the reality of this testimony still holds true to today. It is a spirit of prophecy, speaking into our lives the vitality of the revelation of God being with us. What we SEE in Joseph’s life is an invitation for us to TASTE it in our own personal encounter with God.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He did it to Joseph, how much more to us who are under the New Covenant with better promises wherein God not only is WITH us, but He dwells IN us in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
The secret is … “Let us, therefore, draw near to God and He will draw near to us” (James 4:8).
When God is with us and He’s all we’ve got, we have it all.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, making it possible for us to be the temples of Your Spirit where no one and nothing can ever separate us from You. As Your Presence is with us, it is You Who gives us rest, Who gives us success and sees our journey to the end that is assuredly greater. Amen!
Photo Credits: Ms Babette Arriola; NZ