If it's the Lord's will, I will perhaps pick up in Romans again next week. But today I'd like to direct your attention to a revelation I had last week while reading the Book of Genesis, specifically the account of Joseph.
We all know the story. Joseph's brothers hated him because their father, Jacob, favored him more than them. Of course, that was not good parenting on Jacob's behalf, but unfortunately, Jacob showed favoritism. Scripture tells us Joseph had this prophetic dream that revealed that he would be exalted above his dad, mom, and brothers. This caused his brothers to hate him even more. So, when an opportunity arose to get rid of Joseph, they took advantage of it.
They sold Joseph, and he ended up being a slave in Egypt under Potiphar, who was one of Pharaoh's officials. While in Potiphar's house, the Bible tells us this: The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 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 (Genesis 39:2-4 NIV).
So, God blessed Joseph in bondage. But as the story continues, more trouble ensued for Joseph. Scripture tells us that Joseph was "well built and handsome" and Potiphar's wife attempted to sleep with him ... scandalous!
But Joseph refused. She tried sleeping with him a few times, but Joesph refused every time. On her last attempt, it is written that Joseph ran out of the house fleeing from her (Sidenote: Sometimes when temptation is knocking at your door, you'd better run! Indeed 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to flee sexual immorality, and that is exactly what Joesph did.)
Upset that Joseph rejected her, Potiphar's wife lied on him. She falsely accused Joesph of rape. This accusation landed Joseph in prison. But again, look at what the Bible says about Joseph being in prison: the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 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. 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 (Genesis 39:21-23 NIV).
Okay, so we see favor followed Joseph wherever he went. I'm going to jump ahead in the story to the part where Joseph's dream comes into fruition. Pharaoh needed a dream interpretation and Joseph provided that for him. From there, Joseph was immediately promoted to second in command of all of Egypt.
Genesis 41 details how Joseph was given royal robes, fine jewelry, and was announced throughout the land as the highest-ranking official in all of Egypt next to Pharaoh. But what caught my attention was how Joseph immediately began his work as a high ranking official. No one trained Joseph. He was thrust into the position, but he knew exactly how to handle the assignment given to him.
Here's my revelation: Both slavery and imprisonment were necessary for Joesph to fulfill his role as second in command. As a slave, God granted him favor to be in charge of Potiphar's house. As a prisoner, God once again granted him favor to be in charge of the inmates. Both positions trained Joesph for his dream. These positions prepared Joseph so incredibly well that by the time God opened the door for his dream to become a reality, he didn't need any training. God had already prepared him.
But of course, while Joseph was a slave, while he was unjustly a prisoner, he was unaware of God's intentions. How could he have known what God was doing through his difficult seasons? I imagine there were times where Joesph cried out for God to deliver him. I'm sure he all but begged (and perhaps did beg) God to free him. But we know God did not do as he wished, not immediately anyway.
And isn't it good that God didn't immediately free Joesph? Joesph would have been ill-prepared for his dream-come-true if God had released him from bondage before the right time. If Joesph had remained with his family in Canaan, he would have never received training for the position and the famine would have likely killed thousands, including Joesph's brother, Judah, through whom our Savior Jesus Christ came.
I'm not saying anything to you today that you haven't heard before, but just be reminded that even when it seems as if God doesn't care, he does. Just because your prayers aren't answered the way you want them to be answered or in the timing that you prefer doesn't mean that God isn't working. I'm sure Joesph felt abandoned by God. I'm sure he questioned if God really cared about what he cared about. And when year after year passed with Joesph still being in prison, he may have given up hope.
But God heard him. He just wouldn't answer Joesph's cries in the way he wanted because the plan was greater than what Joseph could see. Joesph only wanted freedom. But God wanted Joesph's freedom, a solution to the oncoming famine, and to ensure the lineage of Christ remained intact. God needed to make certain that Christ would come and save the world from their sins in order that we might be reconciled unto him, so that we can live in an eternal paradise with our Creator.
God did all this, he allowed Joesph's brothers to betray him, he allowed Joesph to go to prison, he delayed Joesph's prayers and watched him suffer and beg for relief, all because of love. God did this because he had love on his brain.
Dear reader, be encouraged. I know it is not always easy to understand God. It's difficult to know why he allows certain things, why He chooses not to intervene, or why it appears that he is ignoring us or putting us off. But Joesph's account is a reminder that even when it doesn't seem like it, God has love on his brain for you and your circumstances. And I can't speak for you, but that's quite comforting to hear. As you go about your day, your week, and even your entire life, be reminded that in all God does, he has love on his brain.
I pray you have an amazing day and week. If it's the Lord's will, I'll see you next week.
Quin Arrington is a wife, mother, and author with fictional and nonfictional books available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington
Thank you for your time. God bless!