By: Ysrael De la Cruz
When you go to your work place you have an ID that identifies you or sets you apart in your workplace. The ID’s tell people who you are or whom you represent. Last week I talked about how God’s presence was what set apart his people from the rest of the world. God promised his people that he would be with them. Nevertheless, to guarantee the benefits of God’s presence in their midst, the people needed to obey God’s commands. The theme of God’s presence has been persistent in my mind from the very beginning of this year. I honestly believe there is so much we still do not understand about the presence of God. Hopefully through this series on the presence of God we can have a better grasp into this subject.
Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Israel was a dreamer. He was a teenager who was loved by his father but hated by his brothers. The reason his brothers hated Joseph so much was because their father favored him over all the others. Furthermore, Joseph would tell his dreams to his brothers; dreams in which he was always the hero. His brothers hated him so much that they attempted to kill him; instead of killing him they threw him in a pit and from there sold him into slavery to a caravan of Ishmaelites. The Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt and an officer of Pharaoh named Potiphar bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites. Gen.39:1-10
Joseph found himself in Egypt as a slave. He served his master house. But notice that even here we are told that God was with Joseph.
-The Lord was with Joseph (v.2)
-Joseph prospered in the house of his master
-It was evident to his master that the LORD was with Joseph.(v.3) Everything Joseph did was successful in his house.
-Joseph found favor in his master sight and he put him in charge of his household. -Joseph was made overseer (manager) of his household. (v.4-5)
His master trusted Joseph with everything in his house
God being with you does not mean that you would be free from temptation (v.6-10)
-His master’s wife seduced him (v.7) but Joseph refused.
–Joseph was faithful to his master (v.8-9) He would not violate his master’s trust.
–Joseph was faithful to God (v.9) “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God.”
God being with you does not mean that you are exempt from trials. (v.11-23)
-Joseph ended up in prison for something he did not do. (v.20)
-The LORD was with Joseph and showed him (kindness) steadfast love. Gave him favor in the sight of the keeper
-Joseph was put in charge of the other prisoners there (v.22)
-The prison warden trusted Joseph. God was with Joseph even in prison and Joseph continued to be faithful to his task.
God being with you does not mean that you would be exempt from trials or betrayal; God’s presence did not keep Joseph from prison. God was there with him. How many people think that if God promises to be with them, then everything should go well with them.
God’s presence does not exempt you from difficulties or sicknesses. God allowed those things to happen for his purposes and he still expects you to be faithful to him during those trials. Joseph was faithful even in a prison cell.
Joseph spent two years in prison, but the LORD delivered him and used him powerfully in Egypt.
Joseph interpreted two dreams to Pharaoh and because of his wisdom he was made 2nd in command in all the land of Egypt. Joseph was 30 years old when he began to work for Pharaoh. Only Pharaoh was bigger than Joseph in Egypt.
Joseph predicted seven years of abundance in all the land of Egypt followed by seven years of famine. During the years of abundance, Joseph got people working to gather grain and prepare themselves for the years of scarcity.
The famine was severe, and all the land suffered except Egypt. (Gen.40:54-55)
Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt to buy grain because their land was suffering as well. Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognized Joseph. Fifteen years had passed since they saw Joseph.
Eventually Joseph made himself known to his brothers. (Gen.45:3-9)
-“I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (v.5)
-Joseph forgave his brothers; he saw their action as God’s way to save lives. Now Joseph can understand God’s plan; why God allowed him to be sold into slavery, why God sent him to prison for two years. God was preparing him to save his family and many more lives.
Verses 6-9 –God sent me before you to preserve a remnant on earth. (v.7)
-It was not you who sent me here, but God. HE has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
When God is with you even the difficulties he turned into blessings. Whatever it is you are going through right now is still part of God’s divine plan. His going with us does not keep us from difficulties and heartaches, but even in those moments when it does not feel he is with us; he is there. He is preparing us just like he prepared Joseph. God’s presence was evident in the life of Joseph. His presence will be constant in our lives and his faithfulness, to use us for his glory and purpose. We know God is always faithful; the question should be, how faithful will you be to God when you find yourself in the pit? Will you be faithful to him even when you are hated by some? Will you be faithful to him even in your sickness?
God expects his people to be faithful where they are; be faithful with what you have, be faithful where he has placed you and he will do the rest.
Lord, thank you for your presence.