And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.Genesis 39:2
Dear Church and Friends,
Is it possible to prosper and not have prosperity? That very question strikes at the heart of the American ideal! We believe that if you work hard and do right you will reap the spoils of your effort. Apparently there is another kind of prosperity because we find a slave prospering in his master’s house in Genesis 39.
None of the things that Joseph was working with belonged to him. They all belonged to his master, Potiphar. The Egyptian was an important man, a man of official political influence in Pharaoh’s court. He most likely owned an estate which had a working farm or other industry. He employed hands and had slaves to work in and keep up his family property. He had a privileged wife who also demanded upkeep.
Verses 3 and 4 tell us about the prosperity that blessed Potiphar. “And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.”
Potiphar had a vision, a direction in which he wanted to grow his holdings. He employed others to help him achieve that dream. How hard would it be to find a slave who would work hard for the dream of their slaver? Would you work hard for the dream of another if you knew you’d get nothing out of it?
Joseph did. This tells us something wonderful about the character of Joseph. Even under the chains of slavery he was willing to do his best to advance Potiphar’s vision. This is true prosperity. It is not a prosperity that lines the pockets with cash, but a prosperity of the soul that blesses all it touches.
Remember, everyday that Joseph woke up in Potiphars house he was a slave, but he went to work and did his best for the man who enslaved him. The Lord blessed that attitude and resolve. What prosperity can you bring to the life of another? How can you work hard for someone else knowing that you’ll get nothing out of it?
In his letter to the Colossians Paul gives us the recipe to such an attitude. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17).
Then he gives us specific situations in which we can work on behalf of others.
- 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
- 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
- 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
- 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
- 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
He final instruction covers all the rest of our interactions. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23-24).
Herein is the secret to the prosperity of a slave.
Music: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the following.
- David Worcester, San Diego, Calif., David Worcester planted Compass Church in San Diego, Calif. “Please pray for spiritual and organizational protection as we meet for church in the park. Pray for the fruit of new people coming to Christ and numerical growth even in this challenging season. Pray for God to provide the right, more permanent location for us to gather in the future.”
All my best.
And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.Genesis 39:6
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