“Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master…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.” — Genesis 39:1-2, 23
Many know the story of Joseph and his “coat of many colors,” but as with all people there was more to him than just that one moment in his life.
Joseph was sold by his brothers and was then sold as a slave to Potiphar in Egypt. Once arriving in Potiphar’s house, Joseph became successful there and Potiphar and all of his house benefited from having Joseph with them.
The author of Genesis (who many believe was Moses) takes the time and reiterates the notion that “The LORD was with Joseph…” throughout this chapter of Joseph’s life.
This understanding that God was with Joseph throughout all of his life is one that is vital for believers to understand. It shows those that follow Jesus that His words were as true then as they are today, indeed, His Word is eternal.
Jesus says at the end of the Great Commission, “‘…I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Jesus wants us to know a couple of different things in this instance, as well as in the time of Joseph: that God is with us, and that He wants to be with us.
Our Creator God could have made the world, and after it had fallen into sin judged it in holy righteousness and rightfully sentenced mankind to eternal condemnation. But He didn’t. He instead joyfully made a way that mankind could be with Him.
In John 1:14, John begins to describe the lengths that Christ went to in His work to bring many sons and daughters into His family, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…”
In this passage above, John writes something amazing and incomprehensible: “…the Word became flesh…” and in that moment over 2,000 years ago, God showed His great love once again in sending Jesus to be born of a virgin and to live as a lowly man. This same God who came down on a rescue mission is the same One who was with Joseph in Genesis, and He is the very same God who desires to be with you!
Reading through the Bible there are many encounters that man has with the Lord, but in all of them, the message of the cross is prevalent and because of that message, man is able to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of forgiveness, grace and the desire of God’s own heart is written on the pages of His Word.
God wants to be with mankind, has come to dwell with mankind and desires to spend eternity with you.
Later on in Genesis 39, Joseph is accused of some inappropriate conduct with Potiphar’s wife and he is thrown in jail.
And yet here in prison—as at the beginning of the chapter—“…the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.”
This is important for believers to understand as well, that not only does God want to be with you, and not only has He made a way to be with you, but He will never leave you or forsake you even in the midst of suffering.
If you have ever suffered greatly or lost someone close, there can often be a void that seems impossible to fill, and then when you turn to prayer there seems to be an emptiness of words bouncing off the ceiling, but this is what we feel. The believer must seek to find rest in what we know.
This is easier written than done, and often it takes time of anger and sadness and grief before we can get there, but a Christ-follower has left everything and given over all things for the sake of the gospel, even our own respite in the midst of immense suffering.
Those that claim Christ are His all of the time, and that is when we are living well in Potiphar’s house and seeing success all-around us, or when we are falsely accused and thrown into prison for being obedient to God. We are His, and He is ours forever. No matter the circumstances or feelings, this is the relationship, this is the covenant love of our God.
So now that we know that God wants to be with us, do we want to be with Him? Do we desire a relationship with the Lord of all of creation no matter the circumstances and how our lives may change? Are we ready to put our hands to plow and not look back, to take up our cross and follow Him no matter the plans He has for our good and His glory?
The joy of eternal life in Jesus is offered to all, and in the cross of Christ He has made a way so that man can dwell with God forever. Believe this truth today: God wants to be with you.