“The LORD was with him.” (Genesis 39:21)
How often haven’t we seen that as a headline above the fold on a newspaper or as the title of a TV news story?
We then go on to read or hear about a person who has been in jail or prison for years and new evidence or circumstances have led to the determination that the person is innocent and was indeed unjustly accused.
If you know the story of the Old Testament character Joseph, you know that there is a part of his life where he probably wanted to scream out “Unjustly accused!” and he would have been right.
This is the part of Joseph’s life where he was serving in the house of Potiphar “the captain of the guard, (who) bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.” Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of making sexual advances to her and Joseph went from a very cushy job in the home of an Egyptian official to being in prison.
This is then where the Bible records the words of our verse for this week “The LORD was with him.” Joseph didn’t go on a hunger strike or ask all of his fellow Hebrews to incite a riot. He served his time in prison with a quiet trust in God and it was amazing how those words “The LORD was with him” played out. Several other people who served in the Egyptian government angered the king of Egypt and he threw them in prison with Joseph. These men had dreams and God gave Joseph the wisdom and understanding to interpret their dreams. When one of these men had his position restored, he did not forget Joseph and when Pharaoh, the king had some dreams he suggested that Joseph interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Once again God gave Joseph the wisdom and understanding to interpret the dreams and then we really see how “The LORD was with him." Pharaoh was so impressed by what God allowed Joseph to do, that he put Joseph in the position of second in charge of all of Egypt. Talk about going from worst to almost first.
Several years later, reflecting on what God had done in his life, in Genesis 41:51& 52 the Bible gives us these words from the lips of Joseph: “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household" and “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
So how well do you do at recognizing that God is with you in the circumstances of life where you want to cry out “unfair” or “How much more do I have to suffer?” I am right there with you that all too quickly I despair or get frustrated that things don’t seem to be headed in a positive direction.
It can be said of each one of us that God is with us and is guiding and directing things in our lives and so often we miss it because it doesn’t happen on our timetable or in the way we want.
Whenever I find myself in one of those times in life, I have a Bible verse which I use to remind myself that God is in control, even if I cannot see or understand it: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).
May God give each of you that quiet confidence to trust that “The LORD was with him (her)," even if you don’t completely understand!
Posted by TLHA