Day 2 - Genesis 39:1-6a, 19-23

Prospering in Preparation

Detours can redirect us for many reasons. Sometimes in life we discover that people have intentionally purposed a painful path for us. When people we trusted detour us, the sting of betrayal can be overwhelming. Joseph knew this experience firsthand. His own brothers sold him into slavery. What they didn’t know was that they actually set him on the road to dream fulfillment. Today we’ll find that discouraging detours can actually become periods of preparation.

39:1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Joseph could have put his head down and endured his slave-life while brooding over his losses. Instead, he allowed God to prosper and prepare him in his persecution. During this season, Joseph likely honed his administrative gifts while overseeing both the home and field of Potiphar.

Just as Joseph didn’t expect to be serving time as a slave in Egypt, you have probably been presented with circumstances you didn’t choose. Maybe you didn’t plan on homeschooling your children or cancelling your work trips. Yet the Lord is with you in this detour just as He was with Joseph.

How might the Lord be preparing you right now? Are you spending more time complaining or looking for opportunities for growth?

Joseph developed his gifts and worked hard. His story inspires us to keep our eyes on the Lord even when we find ourselves in places we didn’t expect to be. We don’t want to look back on this time with regret.

I have to wonder if Joseph ever speculated that his position in Potiphar’s house might lead to his dreams coming to fruition. Yet as Joseph continued to follow God, his circumstances actually went from bad to worse. Potiphar’s wife propositioned him to sleep with her, and Joseph refused her on the basis of his integrity and commitment to God. She then falsely accused him of rape.

39:19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Joseph committed himself to the Lord, but then he found himself in prison. Have you ever obeyed God through one trying situation and found things in your life got worse? How did you persevere through multiple detours? Even though Joseph experienced a second unfair betrayal, he kept doing the next right thing.

What is one next right thing the Lord is asking of you today?

Sometimes my next right thing means praying when I don’t feel like it or tackling household chores instead of watching television. Following God often means continuing in ordinary obedience trusting God to provide the “extra” that will result in extraordinary results for His kingdom.

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