Joseph did not sin against the king or against God.
“I won’t sin against God by doing such a terrible thing as this.” (Gen. 39:9)
But in spite of doing the right thing, he was put into prison. In such a situation, Joseph could have easily been disheartened and complained to God- “Lord I have remained faithful to you. I have been sincere and have not sinned, yet I’m being punished.”
Similarly, when we face problems in life despite doing things right, a small “why God?” tends creep up in our hearts, “what did I do wrong?”
Though Joseph was given a chance here to question God, we don’t see him doing that. We don’t see him giving up or falling back in faith. Instead he displayed his unwavering confidence in God. Joseph knew that through his highs and lows, his God was always with him.
Helping others always.
Stripped from all his honor and position, we see Joseph continuing to help others in prison with his God given gifts of interpreting dreams. This teaches us that no matter the situation, we are called to use the gifts given by God to comfort and encourage others.
For both Joseph and the king’s servant, being in the prison was a matter of life and death. While one helped the other to get out of the life and death situation, the other forgot to return the favor.
📌 Thought : Let us always have the courage to use our God given gifts to help others despite our own tough situations and without any expectations.
Hope in God, not humans.
Joseph, while he was in prison helped interpret the dreams of prisoners. When he rightly interpreted the King’s personal servant’s dream, Joseph asked him to remember him after he got out of the prison.
“But when these good things happen, please don’t forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place.” (Gen 40:14.)
Joseph must have put hope in the King’s servant’s word to get him out of the prison. If that had happened, there is a possibility Joseph would have given more credit to the servant’s words than deserved.
This is similar to how we put our hopes and expectations in others good words to help us land opportunities. Just like “references” section in our work resumes; the King’s personal servant was Joseph’s reference.
But God has his own way of making things work. “But the king’s personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.” (Gen. 40:23)
Though eventually Joseph did get out of the prison upon being mentioned by the King’s servant to the King… it took a matter of 2 years before this took place.
“Two years later the king of Egypt dreamt he was standing beside the Nile River.” (Gen. 41:1)
During these two years, instead of holding any bitterness against the king’s servant for forgetting about him, he learnt to be patient and wait on God’s timing.
📌 Thought : Joseph’s time in prison teaches us two things:
1. To not rely on human help for things to work out, rather to continue carrying God’s work in complete obedience and thanksgiving.
2. To trust in God’s timing and to wait in patience, humility & confident faith.
Whenever we find ourselves living a similar prison life as Joseph’s – in darkness, hopelessness, with no way out, let us remember to ask God for His Grace to have courage, patience and confidence in God’s plan till we get out of the pit and into the position of success, honor and victory.