Genesis 37:28, 36
28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces[d] of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt. 36 Meanwhile, the Midianite traders[f] arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.
1When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.
Joseph had dreamed about his brothers bowing down to him and then finds himself in the position of a slave serving in Potiphars house. No one is bowing down to Joseph just yet. Jesus said “Whoever wants to be a great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave” Joseph is getting experience serving from the bottom up which many of us rebel against. At first glance it seems hopeless, sold into slavery, stuck in a position of serve others; yet notice in this place of service what Joseph experiences.
- The Lord’s Presence
Three times in this chapter it is stated that the Lord was with Joseph (v. 2, 21, and 23). Sometimes the position of a servant can be a lonely one; Joseph could have felt isolated from family and what was familiar during the 13 years that he was separated from his family. He spent 11 years in Potiphar’s house and 2 years in prison before he was promoted at age 30. Yet, the Scriptures clearly show that He had the watch care of the Lord all during that time. There is no greater encouragement than knowing that the Lord will never leave or forsake you. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced the presence of the Lord with them in the fiery furnace. David faced Goliath and said, “for the battle is the Lords” he knew that the Lord was with him. The Lord was with the children of Israel at the parting of the red sea. The Lord was with Daniel in the den of lions. The Lord’s presence means everything, and it is with those who serve.
- The Lord’s Prosperity
It seems he is stuck serving Potiphar yet if we look a little deeper we find he is really serving God and because the Lord was with Joseph he prospered. God’s blessings are not dependent upon the circumstances, they are a result of the relationship, and because God’s blessings are not dependent upon your circumstances you can be faithful wherever you are. Sometimes we forfeit God’s best because we become discontent; we think we can’t have the blessings of God right where we are. In Potiphar’s house Joseph was in a place of training, learning how to serve, because God wanted to use him to serve Egypt and the countries surrounding it. We like the idea of serving when it’s big and we are in a position of importance but serving isn’t a position, it’s an attitude. If Joseph had not taken on the attitude of a servant he would have used his position later to serve himself. Prosperity and blessings from the Lord can come in many different packages. God’s blessings may not show up in your personal finances, they didn’t for Joseph, so don’t be disillusioned into thinking that prosperity is only measured with a dollar sign.
- The Lord’s Protection
I think we often fail to realize just how powerful the protective force of God’s presence really is. We spend billions every year trying to protect ourselves, protecting everything from our identity to our health. God’s protection is upon His servants, how is your servant training going, are you taking on the attitude of a servant?