Words from Pastor Ken

God Shows Up (2)

"Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.” (Genesis‬ ‭39:1-2‬)

Joseph’s early life could be described as, “From the pedestal to the pit”. He was the favorite son of his father and had lived a spoiled life. His brothers hated him because of this — can you blame them? They decided to do away with their younger brother by selling him into slavery. No doubt, a bit over the top. All of us wonder how they could have done such a thing. That is a great thing about the Bible — it makes us think and even wonder about ourselves. Could we have? Have we gone out of our way to get rid of our difficulties or problems? If we are honest — isn’t it amazing how far we are capable of going — even if it is only in our mind?

After his brothers sold him Joseph ended up in Potiphar‘s house. Potiphar was a rich man and over many things. Joseph was a young man with many gifts and was soon noticed for his capabilities. As I read the story I am taken by the fact that Joseph doesn’t seem to bemoan his fate, at least to those of us who are reading this story. Instead, Joseph sets about using his gifts. I am sure Joseph at this young age had no idea how gifted he was. But, as he gets busy making the most of where he finds himself, he is discovering who he is and “God Shows Up”— and uses him. I think Joseph was amazed at the things he was discovering about himself even though he never asked to be where he was.

Not only Joseph was noticing things about himself but so was Potiphar and others around him. As they noticed Joseph they moved him up had placed him over Potiphar’s  house. Things seem to be moving in the right direction but Joseph was also being noticed by Potiphar’s wife and she made advances toward him. Joseph wisely declined her advances and ran for his life but, even though he did what was right he still ended up in prison. At this point don’t you just want to say, “Give the man a break?” When things go wrong — have you often found they can get even worse?

Joseph in prison was noticed as well. You know what? GOD SHOWED UP THERE ALSO! Joseph was noticed by the ones in charge and they not only gave him extra responsibilities, Joseph even began to do some counseling with other prisoners.

There are a couple of things I would like us to think about:

1 - As Joseph languished in prison — he embraced the moment. He didn’t just sit around and bemoan his circumstances — he got busy where he was and you know what? God Showed Up! He shows up for us as well. Rarely do I see God meeting us where we are bemoaning our circumstances. Oh, He is there but He seems to reveal Himself all the more when we are embracing our circumstances and by faith believing He will use us. 

2 - Joseph never seemed to allow his success and the fact that people elevated him to cloud his vision of doing what was ethically right. All of us have the ability to know what is right but — do we follow that compass? Do we give in to our own desires and flesh, instead of running the other way?  

These are two principles that are needed in life. They seem hard to cultivate. Many of us tend to groan about our situations and circumstances and yield far too often to wandering away from what is ethically best. We also ask, “Where is God?”

Pastor Ken