Summary: Joseph’s relationship with God took him from shepherd to slave to prisoner to govenor of Egypt.
Text: “He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions” (Psalm 105:21).
Have you ever received a promotion? All of us have gone to school during our lifetime. At the end of each school year we looked forward to moving to the next class in the fall. In other words, we looked to be promoted to the next class.
We have all been in the workforce and most of the time a new job put us at the bottom of the ladder. We started with the lowest pay for that position because we were the new kid on the block, because company policy dictated that’s where we start, we lacked experience or we just did not have the right connections.
Many times if you know the right people and they like you, opportunities will come to surface. I sure there have been times when we were well-qualified and had the experience and got the position, but for some reason the compensation was insufficient for what the job description depicted.
I cannot recall a time in my life when I received a promotion or a new position or job that just came my way without me even thinking about it. Each time I have made a position or job change, I had to put forth the effort necessary to let people know I was interested and that I was qualified. In other words, I was never handed anything on a silver platter. I am not complaining. I have always had a job or two and have never been out of work.
The promotion Joseph received from Pharaoh was totally unexpected. What qualifications did Joseph have that would make him eligible for the role of governor of Egypt?
He was the son of Jacob and helped his eleven brothers tend his father’s herd of sheep; thus, he was a shepherd. His brothers were jealous of him because he was favored by their father. Joseph almost became a statistic, but instead of destroying him or killing him, the brothers sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead and going to Egypt.
When the caravan reached Egypt, Joseph was sold like a piece of merchandise to Potiphar who was one of Pharaoh’s officials. Joseph became a slave working in the household of Potiphar. God was with Joseph and it was not long before he would be promoted to head servant or chief servant or attendant to Potiphar.
This promotion came because Potiphar noticed that the LORD gave Joseph success in everything that came his way and this success benefited Potiphar. Did the position of servant or attendant qualify Joseph to eventually become governor of Egypt? Let’s go on with the story and that question will be answered a little later in the message.
Things were going well until Potiphar’s wife didn’t get what she was after. She was unable to persuade Joseph to commit the act of disobedience against God which would lead to adultery; thus, breaking one of God’s Laws.
Since she failed in her attempt to entice Joseph, she proceeded to plan #2 which involved telling Potiphar how Joseph tried to take advantage of her. Potiphar believed his wife and Joseph was put in prison. This certainly was not a promotion. This move wouldn’t qualify Joseph to eventually become governor of anything or would this prison term work in Joseph’s favor?
Joseph never questioned God as to why these various things were happening to him. He continued his close relationship with the Father and waited for the Father to lead him in the next move.
We have had undesirable events in our life, but have we stood firm in our faith and our relationship with God? Each one of us has been mistreated in some manner during our lifetime. We have been blamed and we have paid the price for things of which we were not guilty. We have been passed up for a promotion. We have faced sickness, surgery, disease, fear, and loss of a loved one.
Have we been able to accept the circumstances knowing that God was still in control and that he would continue to lead us in the direction we should go? Do we remember His words: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Most of us have loved-ones and friends around us when undesirable circumstances surface in our life. In some cases this is good and in some cases it is bad. It depends on whether their attitude is positive or negative, encouraging or discouraging or helpful or destructive. Joseph had no family or friends to help him. He did not give up or feel sorry for himself; instead, he kept his focus on Almighty God.
Joseph went from a shepherd to: slave, servant, attendant and then to prisoner. These events in his life do not seem to quality him for a promotion to governor of Egypt. All these events seemed to be working against Joseph, but Joseph never once blamed God for the circumstances and events surrounding him.