When God asks us to join Him in his work, to be under His authority, to think and behave in ways that honor him while being His person, God is with us. Read that again. God is WITH us. God is with you. God is with me. Friends, when God is with us, working His ways in to our being, life changes for the best. Perfect? No, but life becomes a learning experience that develops our godly character. We begin see the changes. Amazingly, others see the difference in us, too. “As it turns out”, God is with us, as God was with Joseph through ALL his trials and leadership successes.
God is blessing Joseph from the inside out and has placed him in the palace to fulfill His purpose for His people. This is only the beginning to the story of God in Joseph. Try not to think of blessings as material wealth with position as we think of “blessings” to count. Instead, thing of blessings as those moments when we act upon what God is teaching us as we grow in His character. We will discover that when God is IN it, all goes well for us at the end of the day when we do! No matter what is happening around us, we can then truly say it is well with my soul.
Genesis 39, The Message
After Joseph had been taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites, Potiphar an Egyptian, one of Pharaoh’s officials and the manager of his household, bought him from them.
2-6 As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.
6-7 Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, “Sleep with me.”
8-9 He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?”
10 She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her.
11-15 On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, “Sleep with me!” He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. When she realized that he had left his coat in her hand and run outside, she called to her house servants: “Look—this Hebrew shows up and before you know it he’s trying to seduce us. He tried to make love to me but I yelled as loud as I could. With all my yelling and screaming, he left his coat beside me here and ran outside.”
16-18 She kept his coat right there until his master came home. She told him the same story. She said, “The Hebrew slave, the one you brought to us, came after me and tried to use me for his plaything. When I yelled and screamed, he left his coat with me and ran outside.”
19-23 When his master heard his wife’s story, telling him, “These are the things your slave did to me,” he was furious. Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESOND?
No doubt about it, God was WITH Joseph. Notice that Joseph lost all his arrogant thinking when he was sold as a slave by his brothers. Joseph is no longer bragging about his dreams. Instead, we see God is transforming him into a leader of integrity. People notice Joseph is different.
God is “blessing” Joseph with His ways of thinking. God-with-us does that in us, too! No matter what situations we are in, God works his good in and through in us. No matter where you are or what your circumstance is at this moment in time, if you believe in Jesus as God’s Son who laid down his life for your life and follow what He says, then GOD IS WITH YOU! God is with me. I shudder at the thought of living life without God.
Paul talks about this inside out bounty of blessings that God produces in us. When God is with us and we truly believe He is with us, our lives transform. We think differently. And then we act differently in all situations. We desire what God desires. Life becomes less of a puzzle as God’s wisdom seeps into our being causes us to think and behave more like Jesus, God’s Son, who taught us God’s ways.
For example, Paul, led to God by Jesus on the road to destruction, realized that his old life was rubbish in comparison to living a “God with us” life. The results of this life are made plain to us by Paul, the transformed man. Paul writes;
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:19-26, NLT
One last thought…Jesus was called “Immanuel” by prophets centuries before He came to earth. Immanuel means, “God with us.” Wow.
Thank you for overwhelming us with the thought of “God with us” this morning. YOU are WITH us. I’m taking time to let the depth of this loving thought of you with me settle in my soul. Thank you for being with us through it all, no matter what, you are with us. Help me to live my life in your ways so people will see you in me.
In Jesus Name, Amen