In the sermon yesterday morning, the pastor pointed out something about Joseph that I don’t typically think about. In Genesis, we see Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, coming to a good position as a steward for his master, going to prison because of a lie his master’s wife told, interpreting dreams for people he met in prison, and then interpreting a dream for Pharaoh, ultimately becoming second in command of all Egypt.
When we look at all this experience, we see God’s hand in it. Joseph saw God’s hand in it as well, and never lost his faith or let his relationship with God slip throughout all those trials. Then he got into power. Typically when we start doing well we put our faith and our relationship with God on the back burner, and sometimes even drop them entirely. Often it is not our trials that cause us to lose our faith, but our prosperity.
Joseph essentially became a celebrity in Egypt. He had the clothes, the jewellery, the signet, the chariot. He married into a higher caste of society, becoming son-in-law to the priest of On, where the sun-god Ra was worshiped. His wife was named after a goddess. Joseph became immersed in the culture and his brothers didn’t even recognize him later because he looked and talked so much like an Egyptian. But throughout all this, he kept his relationship with God steady. When he named his sons he had God in mind (Genesis 41:51-52). When he met his brothers as they came to buy food, he didn’t exact vengeance upon meeting them. After their father died he still didn’t exact vengeance, and we see where his heart has been all this time in Genesis 50:19-21.
Joseph worshiped God and kept his faith throughout all his time in trials and prosperity. He didn’t let the culture take over, even being the son-in-law of an Egyptian priest in the midst of a land that worshiped false gods. He didn’t let his position go to his head or think that he didn’t need God. He never turned his back on God. He acknowledged God in all of his life.