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Choosing to Believe: Teacher Joseph, Part 5

by | May 17, 2024 | Believe, Hope, Teacher Joseph

Last Saturday, in “Teacher Joseph, Part 3”, we saw from the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife that no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, even when your situation is “no win”, when you stay true to God you are opening the door for God’s favour to rest upon you.

Our story today takes us to the dungeons of Egypt. Joseph, who has already been knocked off his “Favorite son” pedestal to be sold into slavery, finds himself once again knocked off his “favored servant” pedestal to be thrown into the dungeons.

It has been speculated that this was actually an act of mercy for Potiphar. Given Potiphar’s position and the severity of Joseph’s purported crime, the common punishment would likely have been death. We don’t know who Potiphar decides to believe in this story. We don’t know if he was angry at Joseph, or perhaps at his wife for suggesting such a thing. The Bible only says: “…that his anger was aroused.” (Genesis 39:19b NKJV). What we do know is that Joseph was not executed, as might have been expected in that day, but rather, Potiphar: “…put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined.” (Genesis 39:20 NKJV)

It would seem that Joseph can’t be thrown down for good. And why should he be? He has, after all, God’s favour! And so it is that once again Joseph rises to a position of influence: “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. ” (Genesis 39:21-22 NKJV).

Well if you have to be in prison, what better position that the one trusted by the prison keeper!

We don’t know how long Joseph was in prison before the arrival of the king’s baker and butler. All we know is that upon their arrival these men were put under Joseph’s care for “a while”: “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.” (Genesis 40:4 NKJV). However, they must have learned to trust Joseph, for when both of these men had strange dreams the same night, they were quick to confide in Joseph: “And they said to [Joseph], ‘We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.’” (Genesis 40:8a NKJV)

As it turned out, both dreams were referring to what would happen in 3 days’ time. Joseph was able to interpret them both, and both came to be: The Butler would be re-established at his old post, while the baker would be killed (See Genesis 40:8b-19). And what would be Joseph’s thanks for all of this?

He would continue to sit in prison for another two years before the butler remembered his promise to Joseph that he would speak to Pharaoh on his behalf!

That’s a long time to lounge in prison, and in his place, I am pretty sure I would have gotten pretty discouraged. Nonetheless, God did bring Joseph out of prison, and this time He established this twice-humbled son as 2nd in command of all of Egypt (See Genesis 41)!

And herein lies the lesson or each of us. I don’t know what circumstances you find yourselves in, or how long you’ve been in these circumstances. But don’t despair! The God who hadn’t forgotten Joseph hasn’t forgotten you either! Just as God wasn’t content to let Joseph rot in prison forever, God will also not leave you in your circumstances forever! He will make a way! Hasn’t He said, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43: 2 NKJV)?

While Joseph spent his time in prison, he had a choice to make. He could choose to be discouraged, or he could choose to believe that God would make a way. Maybe Joseph was discouraged from time to time. The Bible is silent on this subject. What we do know, however, is that he was placed in charge of the entire prison, a place of honour he likely wouldn’t have earned if he had been overcome with discouragement!

While you spend your time in the “prison” of your trials and troubles, you, too have a choice to make: You can choose to be discouraged, or you can choose to believe that God will make a way! For when you do, you, too will rise to places of honour, even within the confines of your circumstances! And one day that “way” will open up for you.

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, don’t give in to discouragement! Rather follow Joseph’s example. Believe that God will make a way!

Join us next Saturday for yet another lesson from “Teacher Joseph”!

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries

(To access the entire “Teacher Joseph” mini-series, click here!)