Summary: Part three focuses on Joseph being in prison and how he walked with God through it all.
Now Is Not The End Part 3
Scriptures: Genesis 39: 21-23; 40:1-23; 41:1-46
This is part three of my series “Now Is Not The End.” In my message two weeks ago, we followed Joseph to Egypt and his experiences in Potiphar’s house. When we completed the message, we found Joseph being placed into prison because he was accused by Potiphar’s wife of attempting to rape her. As we followed Joseph, we found that God was blessing him in everything that he did and He was blessing Potiphar’s house because of Joseph. Joseph steps were being directed by God and Joseph made the decision to honor God in everything that he did by consistently making decisions in each of his “now” experiences that demonstrated his love for God. We will take up where we left off two weeks ago. Turn with me to Genesis chapter 39.
I. Joseph Enters Prison
Last time we stopped with Joseph being placed in the prison that was reserved for the king’s prisoners. Let’s start reading at verse twenty-one. “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him’ and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper.” Have you ever heard the statement “You can’t keep a good man down”? Well here is a prime example of a man who walked with God and through everything he went through, God blessed him. God gave him favor with the chief jailer and once again the chief jailer as did Potiphar before him, saw that God was with Joseph. Sometimes it is hard to see the blessings because of all the bad, but that was not necessarily the case with Joseph. He was imprisoned unjustly and yet he still walked with God. As I shared with you last week, the blessings continued to overshadow Joseph (they sought him out versus him seeking them.)
Now let me ask you a question that some of you may already be considering: “How do you prosper or be blessed while in prison?” I mean you are in prison; you’re still wearing prison clothes and eating prison food. You’re still behind bars with limited freedom. In this situation how do you prosper or be blessed? I can think of a few ways, but in Joseph’s case, whatever way it was, Joseph experienced it. He walked into that prison and quickly got the attention of the chief jailer. Maybe Potiphar told the chief jailer about what an asset Joseph was to his household. What we do know is that once again someone saw that the Lord was with Joseph.
Joseph was living his life in such a way that everyone knew that God was with him. What about us? Can that same statement be said about us? Can people look at our lives; the decisions we make; how we carry ourselves and see that the Lord is with us? Joseph was now in prison and his “now” experience had changed through no fault of his own. He was faced with making some new decisions in a very difficult situation. What did he do? Well he must have done something that led the chief jailer to know that God was with him. Maybe it was how he handled the assignments that the chief jailer gave him on a daily basis. Maybe it was the way the other prisoners responded to him as he interacted with them. We do not know exactly what he did do, but I can tell you what he did not do. Joseph did not enter the prison with a chip on his shoulder. He did not enter the prison complaining about Potiphar and his wife. Joseph did not enter the prison depressed, angry and blaming God for his current situation. By all impressions, he entered the prison knowing that once again how he carried himself would either help or hinder his current situation. In every situation Joseph could have treated it as his end, but that was not what he did. He made different decisions that affected every situation. Even though he did not have confirmation, he knew his “now” experiences were not the end. Before I continue on, I want to refer to something Paul wrote that could actually be based on Joseph’s story. I am not saying that it is, but just humor me for a moment and give this some consideration.
II. How To Do A Good Job
Before I share this Scripture with you, I just want to remind you of what you have heard thus far with Joseph. He was sold into slavery. He prospered in slavery. He was sent to prison. He prospered in prison. In each situation he prospered because of how he did his work and how he carried himself. In everything that he did, he did it in his service to God. Now turn with me to Colossians 3:22-24. At the time that this was written, as it was with Joseph, there were slaves present. Some individuals were slaves because they were sold into slavery while others were slaves by choice. If you’re wondering how someone could choose to be a slave, go study your Old Testament and it will become clear. Colossians 3:22-24 says the following: “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”