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The Lord Was with Joseph: Part 1

The Blue Heart Campaign is the United Nations’ attempt to raise awareness about the global epidemic of human trafficking. This persistent abuse has lingered for millennia; in our passage today, we see that Joseph has been sold to slave traders, who in turn sold him to a wealthy Egyptian. He is the victim of brothers, traders, and now a new master; and all of them view him primarily as a resource to be used rather than as a person created in God’s image.

When looking at the facts of Joseph’s life to this point, it would be easy to think that God had abandoned him. Indeed, Joseph has fallen from being the favored son of a wealthy man to a slave in a foreign household. But Genesis takes care to demonstrate that this is not the case. Twice we are told, “The LORD was with Joseph” (vv. 2, 3). Additionally, the narrator proclaims: “The LORD gave him success in everything” (v. 3); “The LORD blessed” whatever Joseph touched (v. 5).

God’s blessing on Joseph was noticed by his new master, Potiphar, who continually gave Joseph more responsibility until he had “left everything he had in Joseph’s care” (v. 6). Because of Joseph’s presence, Potiphar’s household and fields flourished. This episode is a foretaste of God’s promise to Abraham to bless all the nations of the earth through his descendants (see Gen. 22:18).

God had not abandoned Joseph, and Joseph had also not given up on God. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, Joseph rejected her offer because it would betray his master’s trust and he could not sin against God (vv. 8–9). Despite her daily persistence, Joseph remained steadfastly obedient to the God he knew was still with him even in slavery (v. 10).

Apply the Word

Jesus promised, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). He knew His followers would face persecution and martyrdom. Our circumstances don’t determine God’s presence. Even in our trials and temptations, the Lord is faithful to be with us. Resolve, like Joseph, to be faithful to Him in every situation.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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