Genesis 40-41 – Trusting our Sovereign God in the Midst of Trial

Our hero is in prison. Not because he did wrong but because he did right.

Here is the single most important fact about Genesis 40.

At the beginning Joseph is in prison. At the end he is in prison.

That’s not fair, but there it is.

Here is [the] question:

Are you willing to wait for God?

In this chapter Joseph is waiting because there is nothing else he can do. He can’t get out of prison, he can’t appeal his sentence, and he certainly can’t escape. He’s stuck in an Egyptian prison, far from home where they think he’s dead anyway. He has been falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife.

You don’t have too many friends in that situation.
So he waits.

Most of us hate to wait

At this point readers of this story face a problem. Because we know how Joseph’s life ends up, it’s very easy for us to read Joseph’s story in light of how it ends. We know that eventually he emerges triumphant, and that he will one day say to the brothers who betrayed him, “You meant it for evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

Our problem is, we read this whole story as if Joseph himself knew how it was going to end.

That’s not true.

When Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers, he had no idea what was going to happen next. He knew as much about his future as you do about yours. It’s not as if God whispered, “Hang tough, kid. Don’t let ‘em get you down. Pretty soon you’ll be the Prime Minister of Egypt.” It didn’t happen that way. This isn’t a fairy tale.

When Joseph is stuck in prison, he has no “inside knowledge” regarding how or when or if he will ever get out.

Joseph’s experience in prison reminds us that God doesn’t keep time the same way we do.

He is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). And “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

Time is no complication to God. A. W. Tozer said it this way:

God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work.”

God is bigger than the clock
He’s never in a hurry.
He’s never late.
He’s never behind schedule.

Even though the cupbearer forgot Joseph, God didn’t.

Wait on the Lord because . . .

“They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Your Redeemer is on the way.
He’s just not working on your schedule.

Ray Pritchard

Read Genesis 40-41.

As you look at the life of Joseph, how do you respond in the midst of difficulty? Do you believe God is sovereignly, providentially in control of all circumstances and working for your good?

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Joachim Neander

Posted on: May 12, 2016 - 10:55PM

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