Thirteen years; serving Potiphar and held as a prisoner. Then in an instant, a world leader. Thirteen years of captivity followed by years of prosperity and fame. But Joseph never forgets his God.
“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will…” (vs.16)
It’s safe to assume that Joseph has no contact with fellow believers. He isn’t attending church, listening to christian radio, or live streaming weekly sermons. And there’s no evidence of him even having access to scripture. But still, whether in pain or prosperity, Joseph remembers God. In isolation, his faith grows. In prosperity, his faith stays strong.
Pharaoh does his best to de-Hebrew Joseph. He gives him an Egyptian signet ring and Egyptian clothes. He gives him an Egyptian name, an Egyptian wife, and a prominent position in the Egyptian government. But while the exterior of Joseph’s life is no longer Hebrew, his heart isn’t changed. He stays fully fixed on the one true God.
He never allows trial or triumph to define his relationship with God. He doesn’t question God’s goodness during dark days and he doesn’t forget God’s goodness during the comfortable ones. By giving his “Egyptian” sons Hebrew names, he publicly testifies to God’s faithfulness. Unashamed and fearless.
It’s so easy – compulsory even – to pray during hard times. To cry out, to bargain for desired outcomes, to seek God with passion. But when things are plugging along – we feel loved by our spouse, our kids are healthy, our home is comfortable, the budget is balanced – prayer becomes less compulsory. God becomes less “necessary.” We still love God…we’re just not spending time with him. Hmmm.
May I never be fully “Egyptianized.” May I never forget. While I live in a secular world, full of temptation and distraction, may my heart always…always remember the Truth. Like Joseph, may I stay fully fixed on the one true God; who created me with purpose, to live in this life…on this day.