Summary: God’s favor is found in one’s faithfulness to Him. Are you ready to receive God’s favor by being faithful to Him?
Secret to Success
Genesis 39: 1-23
Good morning all of you!
It is so good to be with you all once again. Today, I want to talk to you about the ‘secret of success. Yes, you heard it right, secret to success. There are millions of tips, steps and plans given to figure out those secrets in order to be successful. People spent millions of dollars in search of success in life. Today, I want to give you the secrets of success from the best success story you are ever going to find. This story comes from the Bible where success is defined in terms of God’s favor. Let us see how we could find this favor of God or success in our lives.
Joseph was Rachel's firstborn and Jacob's eleventh son. Of all the sons, Joseph was loved by his father the most. Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph caused his half brothers to hate him. Joseph’s two dreams added more hatred in the heart of his brothers. In the first dream, Joseph and his brothers gathered bundles of grain. Then, all of the grain bundles that had been prepared by the brothers gathered around Joseph's bundle and bowed down to it. In the second dream, the sun (father), the moon (mother) and eleven stars (brothers) bowed down to Joseph himself. As the result of jealousy and hatred, his brothers sold him to the Medianites.
The story of ‘God’s favor in Joseph’s faithfulness’ is found in Genesis chapter 39. It is the continuation of Genesis chapter 37, where he was sold by his brothers. Potipher bought him from the Medianites who had brought him to Egypt. Now, he is in a new place among new people where none of his friends and families was around. But the Lord was always with him and favoring him in everything he was doing there. As the result of God’s favor and his faithfulness toward God, chapter 40-41 explains how the Lord was making him successful in whatever he did. The questions may arise here, how can I have that kind of favor of God in my life? How can I be successful in my life? I’m sure these are some of the questions that pop up in your mind at times and often. It is indeed good to think about these things and have questions like these. But, the point is, are we doing anything to make it happen in our life? Let us see what Joseph did in his life to find the favor of God in his life and to be successful in whatever he did.
Now, as Joseph is in Potipher’s household, he had faith in his God even in the midst of uncertainties ahead. He has never forgotten that God is with him always. He was always faithful to the presence of God in his life and work at Potipher’s house. We can neither see any kind of complain for what had happened to him nor any kind of compromise to get out of that situation. We often do that when we go through difficult times in life, don’t we? We even compromise our faith at times, in order to just get through the situations in life. But Joseph was just faithful to God and His presence for wherever he is and whatever will happen to him. We can see his total dependence upon God and his faithfulness to His favor.
Why does God test us before trusting us with the bigger responsibilities?
God did not test Joseph to prove him untrustworthy or unfaithful. Indeed, he was faithful to God and his presence which we can see from God’s favor being upon him. The point here is, God wants to prepare Joseph for bigger responsibilities. He wants to grant success to Joseph by putting him in various situations in order to make him mature in his faithfulness to God. God’s test to Joseph is not for him to limit his responsibilities but to expand his sphere of influence with bigger responsibilities. God’s preparation includes the test that Joseph went through which we see in verses 7-18.
Joseph was a very handsome, young man. He must have had big muscles; charming face and physically fit body that everybody around him can’t help but to notice him. I can imagine Joseph would walk around and the people would look at him saying…..wwoohhh. I am sure many girls during that time have had a crush on him. Among those people who were noticing him, Potipher’s wife was the main person. She was so in love with Joseph in her heart that she did not just have crush on him but also wanted to have sex with him. She can’t help herself and keep her feelings inside so finally, one day she asked him to have sex with her. But you know what Joseph did? He refused it. He did not just refuse, but also explained her why he cannot have sex with her in verses 8-9. We can see his faithfulness to his master who has trusted him with all the responsibilities in the household. More than that, he was faithful to God who was preparing him for greater responsibilities. He said, “How can I do such an evil and sin against God”? Let me ask you a question here, what would you do if you were in the situation of Joseph there? Or put it in other way, what will be your response in situations like this in your life today. Are we faithful to God in situations like this as He is testing us for bigger responsibilities?