Genesis 39:1-2, “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharoah, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph,…”
If repitition is indeed the most effective teacher, the lesson in Genesis 39 should be obvious. (It’s my personal opinion that it may well be the primary lesson in Joseph’s life.) Take a closer look. You find it there in verse 2. And you will find it again towards the close of the chapter. This time it is actually inserted into the text twice. Once in verse 21 and again in verse 23. In fact, thousands of years later, Stephen would emphasize that same point when he gave his defense before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7. “God was with him.”
Throughout Joseph’s life there was one constant, one unchanging truth that never varied. Whether he was lying in the bottom of the pit or standing before the throne of Pharoah, Joseph was never alone. In every situation. Through every season. Despite all of the injustice. In the aftermath of every pain inflicted. In the midst of every suffering endured. Joseph had not been abandoned. Joseph had not been forsaken. God was with him. Always. And everywhere.
I can’t speak for you but I need to be reminded of that very often. Granted, my life cannot begin to compare to Joseph’s. Sure, I have had my share of hardship but nothing at all that can measure up to the things that took place in his life. And that’s the thing that brings me hope. In spite of everything that Joseph encountered God never once left his side. As a young man? God was with. In the pit? God was with him. In slavery? God was with him. Falsely accused of rape? God was with him. Languishing forgotten in a foreign prison? God was with him. Standing before the most powerful man in the world? God was with. Faced with the chance to take revenge? God was with. Life came at Joseph in all it’s unmitigated fury, and in the end the testimony of his life bore witness to the faithfulness and providence of God. “Yet God was with him.”
Earthy fathers may fail you, blood siblings may curse and revile you, some may falsely accuse you, and others may completely forget you. But through it all and in spite of it all God will be with you. His presence surrounds us. His hand provides for us. His care protects us. At all points we are encompassed by the grace and love of a compassionate God. Yes, bad things happened to Joseph. This side of eternity is going to be marked by evil. In this flesh we will know disappointment and despair. The sun will not always shine. The season of winter comes to every life. Yet God is with us. Through it all. And in it all. Life is powerless to chase Him away. Take heart today and be encouraged. God has not abandoned you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. God is with you.