God is Always present.9th March 2018
It was about a month ago in my Bible in a year journey where I came across the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. The story of Joseph has always been one that I remember vividly. I have always thought: Joseph must be one of the most unfortunate people in the Bible. How can something so terrible befall on someone who has been so faithful?
Joseph was his father Jacob’s favourite child out of the 12 children. And because of this, Joseph’s brothers hated him, so much so that they sold him as a slave to a group of Midianite merchants who were heading for Egypt, where Joseph would later work for Potiphar, who was one of the Pharaoh’s officials. Joseph found favour in the eyes of Potiphar, but just as everything seemed to be going well for Joseph, Potiphar’s wife framed Joseph for something he hasn’t done because he chose to remain faithful to his master and God. Joseph was thrown into prison at once where he also found favour in the eyes of the prison warden, who put Joseph in charge of all the inmates. During Joseph’s time in prison, he came across two of Pharaoh’s officials and interpreted their dreams for them by wisdom given to him from God. One of the Pharaoh’s officials promised that he would mention Joseph to the Pharaoh to get Joseph out of prison. But the official forgot all about it until two years later when Joseph was summoned by Pharaoh to interpret his dreams.
And so I put myself in Joseph’s shoes: how would I feel if these things happened to me? Would I feel abandoned and alone? Would I still remain faithful? Would I start to doubt God? Where is God in all of this?
But as I delve deeper into Genesis 37-50, it hit me that God has always been with Joseph all along. God was with Joseph when he was a slave to an Egyptian master:
“When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that 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 his care everything he owend.” – Genesis 39:3-4
God was with Joseph when he was thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit:
“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.” – Genesis 39:20-22
And God was with Joseph when he stood in front Pharaoh:
“So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” – Genesis 41:38-40
Throughout everything Joseph has faced, God has always been there. In fact, God has placed Joseph precisely where He wants Joseph to be in all these different situations in order to prepare him for a greater plan – to become the second-in-command in all of Egypt so that his family can be saved from famine.
The story of Joseph serves as a reminder to all of us that in every situation, every circumstance, every trial, God is always here with us even when we can’t feel His presence. We are where God precisely wants us to be right now for a reason, even though we may not understand right now. And though God may place us in difficult situations for His greater plan, He doesn’t leave us to face these situations alone. And we can always call out to Him for strength, wisdom and guidance.
Dear Heavenly Father, We want to thank you for the story of Joseph. And we want to thank you for always being here with us no matter what situation we may be facing right now. We pray that You would help us to believe and understand that we are where we are right now because You have placed us there for Your great plan. We pray that You would also help us to continuously to trust in You even in tough situations, and that we can always call out to You for help. We pray all of this in the powerful Name of Jesus, Amen!