Joseph was brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites that had brought him down there. Yahweh was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. He was in the house of his master the Egyptian. His master saw that Yahweh was with him, and that Yahweh made all that he did prosper in his hand. Joseph found favor in his sight. He ministered to him, and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
It is a horrible thing to be a slave, but it’s an even more horrible thing to not be favored by God. As we follow the life of Joseph, we get a glimpse into what life is like for a persecuted saint. Joseph spent the majority of his life as a slave as we will see, but this doesn’t mean that He didn’t have an amazing and fulfilling life. Once again, what may seem impossible to us is easily possible with God.
Right away in this record we read that God was with Joseph and that He made everything he did prosper. Isn’t it interesting that, although Joseph was prospering, it was his master that was getting the benefit? What does this tell us about prosperity for a Christian? Notice that Joseph was quickly given authority over Potiphar’s entire estate.
I think that it is good for us to realize that our lives are meant to be spent loving others. God is happy to prosper a person who gives it all away. Joseph was placed in a position where everything he had was being given to others. God knows how dangerous wealth is to those who are selfish. God doesn’t want to ruin our lives by giving us riches just as a parent doesn’t want to spoil their children and cause them to become lazy and ungrateful. It is obvious, however, that God loves to give through us. He also loves to show us that He loves us.
Most of us work for someone else. In a sense, we are not free but servants to someone else’s business. We can expect that God will prosper us as we serve our earthly masters too. They are not perfect and sometimes they are completely wrong, but God is able to demonstrate His love of us to them as we serve them. Joseph became so well liked that Potiphar made him a president of his entire estate. He was a servant but he was a very valuable one. Some of us don’t work for others, but have our own businesses. If we are already the boss, God has given us the freedom to give our lives away. May God give all believers freedom so that they can freely give to others.