If there is one man in the Bible who knows what it means to be in bondage and in jail its Joseph. Sold into slavery for just being him, no crime committed, just his jealous brothers who couldn’t contend with the fact that daddy loved their little brother more. Joseph in that moment of slavery like many before him could have broken him. If it did then it would have been the end of his story. Never mentioned in the bible. But it wasn’t, we read of how Joseph acted in spite of his situation.
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
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 favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.
Joseph became a valuable resource to his master because he trusted God. We don’t know for sure but we have to assume that Joseph did not hold this turn of events into a chance to curse God. Maybe like Job, he questioned the turn of events, but like Job kept his faith in the one who created him. This would explain why the Lord was with Joseph not because he was the golden child but because Joseph was trusting God with everything. He was trying to live a life that honoured God who had made many promises to his father and his family before him.
In this slavery, we can see that Joseph was free. He may have had to follow the rules of being a slave but he made every effort and decision to live his life pleasing to God and we see how he was rewarded. All too often we try to follow the rules of the world around us to get ahead in our careers and our lives. We become ensnared in these things and we wonder why we sometimes do not get the advancement we want. We can learn a lesson here from Joseph, following the advice of man will only get you so far, but following God and his nature in our work and lives will return blessings.
How are you acting at work? Does your work ethics reflect that you are part of the family of God or just another worker? To be put in the position of leadership in Potiphar’s home Joseph would have gone beyond what the rest of the slaves were doing. He would not have been known for punching in, doing what needed to be done and punching out. He was noticed because he displayed love in his work, he went above and beyond working hard to be the best worker he could be. Although Joseph was a slave he was free in God allowing him to outshine the other slaves. As believers, we were once slaves to sin, but we are free in Christ. Are you working now as such? Or are you working as if you are not different then the others alongside you? What would happen if we honoured God with our work every day, not treating it as a job but as a way to thank God for providing for us?
Father, today as we are at work I pray that you will give us a new perspective on how we work. Let us see our job as a way to honour you in everything we do there. Like Joseph, we want to let you shine through us in the job so that in the annuls of time it will record that the Lord looked at us with favour and blessed everything we touched. We were once slaves but we are now free, help us to work as free men and woman, so that our lives will reflect you, drawing others to the same freedom. Give us opportunities even today to share your love. Amen