“Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
Although Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, God had lifted him up, giving him positions of authority in Egypt. “The Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and he gave him favor…” Joseph was known for his integrity AND he was known for worshiping the God of Israel. The wife of Joseph’s master tried unsuccessfully to seduce him. Feeling rejection, she falsely accused Joseph and had him thrown into prison.
I said all of that to say this: Joseph’s life took a detour because of events that occurred beyond his control. But could this detour have been God-ordained? Absolutely!
My grandfather’s favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5,6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” I have several letters from Granddaddy, all of which end in this verse.
So, I ask a question that I have asked before.
Do we believe God, or not?
Do we trust God, or not?
If we believe and trust our Lord, then we must believe that He has promised to direct ALL our paths. Right? Then, let’s think about this…
Joseph had already been sold into slavery and now he is in prison. But…wait a minute. Didn’t Joseph have a dream before his brothers got rid of him?
Genesis 37:6-8 tells us, “So Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.’ And his brothers said to him, ‘Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?’ So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.”
This didn’t go over too well. In fact, his father rebuked him and his brothers envied him, ultimately selling Joseph into slavery.
And now Joseph is in prison for something he didn’t do. But is this part of God’s plan? Yes.
While in prison Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker are thrown in there too. Long story short, this is a divine appointment. They each have dreams that Joseph interprets for them. Once they are released, the interpretations come to pass and eventually Pharaoh learns of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams. This proves to be invaluable to Pharaoh because of a series of disturbing dreams he is having. He calls Joseph to him to interpret, recognizes a good thing and places Joseph over all the land of Egypt.
Enter seven years of plenty.
Enter seven years of famine.
All of which Joseph has foreseen and planned for.
“When Jacob (Joseph’s father) saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, ‘Why do you look at one another? Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; Go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.'” (Genesis 42:1,2) So Joseph’s ten brothers traveled to Egypt where Joseph is now governor over all the land. “And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.”(verse 6)
Wait a minute. Isn’t that what Joseph’s dream said all those years before?
What appeared to be detours in Joseph’s life were actually ordered by a Sovereign God! The Word tells us that “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
Has God given you a dream? Do you have a desire in your heart that you believe is God’s will for your life?
God calls us to trust Him, acknowledge His Presence in all of our ways and then learn not to freak out when a detour happens! (That would be me.) Either God is Sovereign or He is not. Either He is in charge of our lives, or He is not.
Isn’t that good news?
Now if we can just get this trust factor down pat.
Father, You are so wonderful! This principle is so simple – so rooted in Your love and mercy. Why do we complicate it so? YOU are in charge of our lives when we submit to Your Lordship, Your authority. NOTHING will come our way without You knowing about it. Open our eyes to see Your hand in all things concerning us. Help us to embrace the detours as part of Your plan, bringing all the pieces together. And help us to trust completely. Forgive us when we take our eyes off of You and wallow in self-pity and doubt when our life goes in a different direction than planned. You promise to work everything together for our good to those of us who are submitted to Your authority and who love You. Help us embrace this truth and walk in it daily. Thank You, Lord.