Alright everyone, we have had some great weeks studying the life and ministry of Joseph. We have had two lessons on Joseph so far:
- Joseph connects with God
- Joseph overcomes temptation
This week during the ROC, we are going to focus on Joseph and his reaction to being put in prison. He kept his integrity while he was being tempted by Potiphar’s wife. Joseph was a young man enslaved by Potiphar. He was a stranger in a strange land. He was far from home and had no one to cause him to be accountable to his moral convictions. He did not have much of a future and probably no chance of ever getting married. I am sure he was tempted to enjoy some of the pleasures of life since they had all been taken away from him. He did not give in because he did not want to sin against God. He knew that God was with him and saw everything that he did or would ever do. He knew that God would see his sin. This is what motivated him to run away from sin. Mrs. Potiphar was mad because Joseph did not give in to her worldly ways. She retaliated by lying and having Joseph thrown in prison. This is where our story picks up this week.
I. Joseph stays connected with God
It would have been easy for Joseph to get angry because God allowed him to be put in prison, even though he was innocent. He had chosen to honor God and it got him in trouble. He may have been tempted to rebel against God while in prison but he did not rebel. Joseph could have given in to loneliness but he did not give in or give up. He knew that God was with him and he wanted to continue connecting with God and trying to connect with others. Immediately, the head jailer recognized something different about Joseph. He placed Joseph in charge of the entire prison, similar to what Potiphar did with his household. Joseph was a trustworthy person. He had proven that while growing up in his father’s house. He had proven it in Egypt while living in Potiphar’s house. Once again, he proves that he has connected with God and others see it. God continues to speak to Joseph and gives him interpretations to the dreams of the other inmates. Joseph gives all of the glory to God and of course, seeks to connect the people around him with God.
II. Joseph connects with others
As Joseph obeys God and stays connected with Him, God begins to open up ways for Joseph to connect with others. First, Joseph connects with the head jailer and because of his character, he is put in charge of the other prisoners. Immediately he connects with the cupbearer and baker. These men have been put in prison and are suffering. Joseph wants to help them and he initiates that help. This is exactly what a person who has connected with God does, he seeks to connect with others. Joseph sees a need and knows that he can help. They both have dreams that bother them and they do not know the answer. Joseph offers an answer, not his own, but he offers the Lord’s answer. Joseph connects with the prisoners so that he can connect them with God. We saw this same pattern in Moses and it is the exact pattern of the 10 Commandments, 1-4 –> connect with God and 5-10 –> connect with others.
III. Bad things continue to happen
Many times we feel that if we connect with God, connect with others, and then help them connect with God that good things are supposed to happen to us. This is not always the case. In Joseph’s case, he tried to connect his brothers with God and they wanted to murder him. They ended up selling him for a profit. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him when he was restored, just as God had predicted would happen. When the cupbearer was restored, he did not keep his word. In fact, he forgot about Joseph and left him in prison for about 2 more years. Joseph does not panic. He knows that God is with him and he continues to be faithful to the Lord where he is. Why should we not be surprised when people react to us trying to connect them with God the way that Joseph’s brothers did? It is because when we try to connect people with God through His Word, their sin nature is pricked by the Word of God and they do not like it. We must continue to be like Joseph, staying connected with God and trying to connect others with God.
What about you my friend, do you stay connected to God even when bad things happen? How do you respond when tempted to be lonely? Do you realize that you are never alone? Do you seek to help others so that you can help them connect with God even if they do not appreciate what you do? May the Lord help us learn from Joseph, to remain connected to God during both the good times and the bad and seek to help others connect with God every chance that we get.