My daily Scripture reading plan took me to a familiar story today.
In Genesis 39-41, we read about Joseph after he was sold to Potiphar. Though he was technically Potiphar’s slave, Joseph impressed his master with his exceptional work ethic and leadership abilities. So much so, that Potiphar eventually put Joseph in charge of everything he owned!
Sometime later, Potiphar’s wife began to pursue Joseph because she was attracted to him. On different occasions, Joseph was able to avoid her advances until one day they were alone. This time, however, while he was again able to resist her, she managed to grab his coat. In the frustration of feeling rejected, she cried “Rape!” and all the palace guards came running. When her husband heard her story, though it was a lie, he was furious with Joseph and threw him into prison.
While in prison, he earned the respect of the warden and was eventually put in charge of all the prisoners. One of his fellow inmates was a former employee of Pharaoh. He had been Pharoah’s chief cup bearer (he tasted the Pharaoh’s drink and food to insure that it wouldn’t bring harm to his boss).
One night the former cupbearer had a dream that was disturbing to him. So the next day he told Joseph about his dream and asked if he might know what the dream meant. God showed favor on Joseph and revealed the meaning of the dream. Joseph told him that he would be release from prison and restored to his former position as the Pharaoh’s chief cup bearer. Then Joseph told him, “Please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.” (Genesis 40:14)
Sure enough, the chief cupbearer was restored to his position, but he forgot to tell Pharaoh about him.
Two years later (yes you heard that right), the Pharaoh had a disturbing dream. As he was summoning his magicians and wise men to interpret the dream, the baker remembered Joseph. You probably remember that Joseph was again granted favor by God and interpreted the dream. Pharaoh was so impressed that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt. He was second in command to only Pharaoh himself!
All of us have been in a sequestered condition, some more so than others, for a couple of weeks. And it’s been challenging to say the least. Joseph got stuck in prison, for a crime he did not commit, for over 2 years! Aren’t you glad no one is predicting that this will last 2 years?
How could Joseph endure something like that without losing his mind? The same reason we can. It’s the good news amidst the bad news of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find this good news in two places in Joseph’s story.
In Genesis 39:2 we are told that “The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” Again, in Genesis 39:21, we read, “But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.”
The good news amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is, The LORD is present and at work in our lives. He is present in our reality! I know our new reality isn’t what most of us would choose, but we have not been left behind or forgotten. The LORD is present and at work in our lives. He is present in our reality!
So declare that good news when you sit down for dinner tonight and again tomorrow as you navigate through your day. The LORD is present and at work in our lives and he want to show you his faithful love!