Tuesday, October 11, 2016

CCF: Being Good While in the Bad

Joseph is brought to Egypt
Genesis 39-40
Bro. Fred Magbanua

Aside from Jesus Christ, Joseph is one of the few characters in the Bible who has no account of misbehavior or wrongdoing. In previous chapters of Genesis we learned that Joseph, was loved by his father Israel more than any of his sons. At a young age, he had a dream about the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing down to him, a dream which made his brothers hated him more. His father Israel then sent him to Shechem to find out about his brothers who are herding flocks. But his brothers took this opportunity to get rid of him but Reuben persuaded them to not kill the boy which they agree. Before Reuben could rescue him, Judah urged them to sell Joseph to the Midianite merchants and deceived their father that Joseph was already dead. Joseph was then sold by the Midianites as a slave to Potiphar in Egypt.

Image courtesy of  www.carolecgood.com
If you were Joseph, how would you respond when things gets out of hand, when you are placed to uncertainty and security is taken away from you by the same people who are meant to protect you? Not because you did anything wrong. Joseph's story offers us various lessons of refining our character and enduring trust to God. Genesis 39-40 teaches us how to stay good and do the right thing while in bad situation.

Move forward with God no matter what the situation.

The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. --Genesis 39:2-4

The eyes of the Lord is certainly set to the righteous people. He blesses them in spite and despite of their unfavorable situations. God's blessings on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob now rests on Joseph. Joseph being a man of God found favor in the eyes of his earthly master because his heavenly master was with him.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked. – Psalm 1:1

This is definitely not a prosperity message, Joseph without wrongdoing was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave, not so fortunate situation. But this did not stop him from seeking God. In spite of his lowest position as a slave, he exhibits good character, faith in God as a result the Lord bless him.
Joseph could have ran away from God, worked without joy, became negative and operated without God in mind, but instead he believed God is in control, worked heartily, remained expectant and trusted God.
Similarly, are we representing Christ's nature to others? Are we living out our belief not only in the church but in the workplace and home? Are we good witnesses of Jesus Christ?

Move forward with God despite previous successes.

Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him – Genesis 39:19-21

Joseph when faced with a potentially compromising situation, he knew exactly what to do – run. Run away from temptation. But despite being loyal to his master by avoiding Potiphar's wife Joseph ended up in prison. Once again obeying the Lord landed him to a seemingly failure situation. Imagine from a favored son to becoming a slave then eventually in prison could have been overwhelming journey for Joseph. But even in prison, Joseph remained faithful and operated with God in mind, thus the Lord was with him.

Move forward with God despite being forgotten.

After sometime, the chief cupbearer and the baker both offended their master and sent to the prison. They are both placed under Joseph's custody.

Why are your faces so sad today?” Then they said to him, “We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.” – Genesis 40:7-8

Notice how Joseph as an administrator showed concern and kindness to people under his care. He asked them about their dream and pointed them to God as the source of understanding. Joseph explained the meaning of their dreams and after three days both interpretations happens just as Joseph said.

Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. --Genesis 40:23

The cupbearer could have forgotten Joseph, but the Lord did not forget about him. God is sovereign who allowed Joseph to be sold as a slave in Egypt, but continue to be with him so he found favor in his master; locked up in prison for doing what is right; eventually becoming in charge of all Egypt and second most powerful man next to the Pharaoh.

There are times that we can't see where God is leading us and we don't understand why bad things happen to good people. But one thing is for sure, we can continue hanging on to God and know that He is in full control, the One who causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him.

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