Genesis 39:20-23 NIV
20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Genesis 40:1 NIV
1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt.
Joseph was one of the most effective leaders in the bible, yet his rise to influence took some amazing twists. As a boy, the Lord gave him a dream of ruling many, and his confidence in this dream coming to reality led his own brothers to sell him into slavery out of jealousy. As a slave, Joseph excelled and soon was in charge of all the other slaves. He was eventually framed by his master’s wife, which led him to be jailed. Yet incredibly Joseph once again applied himself so much as a prisoner that the jailer gave him full authority to run the jail.
Verse 40 only mentions Joseph was in jail for ‘some time’, but scholars have estimated the time was approximately 7 years. For someone given a dream by God that he was going to rule, spending 7 years in a jail with no hope of being released must have been incredibly difficult. Yet we do not read of him complaining, but we do read of him applying himself fully both as a slave and as a prisoner.
What promises and dreams do you have yet to come to pass? How does Joseph’s narrative encourage you? If you applied the commitment that Joseph had to be faithful no matter how difficult or how far his current situation was from the dream, how would your attitude toward your current situation change?
Sometimes when we are called to wait for the Lord’s plans to come to pass, it is not a passive waiting he requires of us, but a very active one that leads to incredible personal growth.
Thank you God that your faithfulness far surpasses my ability to comprehend the full extent of your will, and that in your mercy and grace you will never leave me. Help me to be like Joseph and to apply myself fully in my struggles. Thank you Lord, amen.