Day 25

Joseph Exalted

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 40:1-23, Genesis 41:1-57

BY Andrea Lucado

Text: Genesis 40:1-23, Genesis 41:1-57

As we read the end of chapter 41, let’s all breathe a deep sigh of relief. Joseph, after 13 years of slavery and imprisonment, was finally free. At age 17, he was thrown into a pit by his brothers, and now, at 30, he was Pharaoh’s right-hand man.

Thirteen years is a long time to be a prisoner. As we have read, Joseph found favor with God, allowing him to be elevated in his roles as slave and prisoner. But he was still a slave and a prisoner, and we see in these chapters that Joseph was growing desperate for freedom. “When all goes well for you,” he told the cupbearer, “remember that I was with you. Please show kindness to me by mentioning me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison” (Genesis 40:14).

Get me out of this prison.

Though I’ve not been subjected to actual captivity, I have uttered that same phrase. Maybe you have too. The prison looks different for each of us: depression, doubt, fear, anxiety, complacency, grief. No matter the size or dimension, prisons are a time of struggle with no end in sight.

When we are sitting in a prison of any type, it is hard to believe that God is at work. The words “purpose” and “plan” begin to sound trite. But let’s look back at Joseph’s story.

After pleading for the cupbearer to remember him, Joseph explained his innocence. “For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should put me in the dungeon” (Genesis 40:15). Joseph’s captivity didn’t make sense to him. Human reasoning and judgment would say he deserved to be released. But God kept him there in the dungeon, and sometimes He keeps us there too.

The point of prison is not always to see how God will release us from it, or to figure out how to get God to release us from it. God is not a formula. “If I do A, B, or C, then He will do this for me. Or if I don’t do A, B, or C, He won’t do this.” When we stop trying to fight or figure our way out of suffering, we see that in our suffering, God is with us and working in us.

I remember a recent time of my own suffering. I was in a prison of fear, afraid I would never be freed. Looking back, I can see God was teaching me to trust Him, to trust that He is good. He met me in the suffering, and it was on the floor of my prison that my relationship with my Father deepened—not once I was outside of it.

This is what the coming of Christ portrays: a God who comes near to us. In the midst of our pain and in our darkness, Jesus came. It was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

God delivers His people, yes. We see that in Scripture again and again. But He is also with His people before they are delivered, during their captivity, and in their darkest moments.

Could it be that what you and I need most right now is not to be out of our prisons, but to know the presence of God, even while we’re still inside them?

Here at the end of chapter 41, we see that Joseph glorified God—after 13 years of imprisonment and slavery. He even declared God’s goodness through the names he chose for his children: Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget all my hardship in my father’s house”, and Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (41:51-52).

Praise be to the God who overcomes our hardship by His goodness, who makes us fruitful in the land of our affliction.SRT-Genesis-Instagram25s

Post Comments (69)

69 thoughts on "Joseph Exalted"

  1. Shelby says:

    So thankful for this devotional. It is a great reminder that God is with us at all times. Even when we don’t feel His presence. Even in times of confusion and desperation. He is the light that guides us.

  2. Summer says:

    Today’s devotional hit me like a ton of honesty bricks. “Get me out of this prison.” Wow, did those words hit home. In a moment of true openness, I have been feeling like a captive, being held somewhere I do not want to be and can not fathom how God would want me here, either. Those who have come alongside me know what the struggle is but as today’s reading says, “When we are sitting in a prison of any type, it is hard to believe God is at work. The words ‘purpose’ and ‘plan’ begin to sound trite.” And I am so thankful for the group of ladies God has put in my life to speak truth to me, but in all honesty, sometimes I do not want TRUTH, I want a SOLUTION. I want FREEDOM from my prison. Or, prisons, more accurately. But as the writer put it, “Sometimes the point of prison is not always to see how God will release us from it, or to figure out how to get God to release us from it. When we stop trying to fight or to figure our way out of suffering, we see that in our suffering God is with us and working in us. Meeting us on the floor of our prison and deepening our relationship with Him inside the prison, not once we are out of it.” I have been fighting so hard for a way out that now I know God has had to slap me in the face with a large neon sign that says “STAY. WAIT. HOLD. LISTEN.” And in conclusion, it says, “Could it be that we need most right now is not to be freed from our prisons, but to know the presence of God, even while we’re still inside them?” So I will glory in my prison. I will give thanks in my prison and I will wait patiently and expectantly for my freedom because “God delivers His people. But He is also with His people before they are delivered, during their captivity, and in their darkest moments.” This reading in Genesis has been exactly what God has been trying to speak to me for the past couple of weeks.

  3. Amanda says:

    This resonated with my soul, as I am in the midst of my own prison right now. So thankful for the encouragement that comes from God’s word.

  4. Pingback: Joseph | Evensong
  5. Michelle of Los Angeles says:

    Thank you Andrea for your writing and thank you God for loving us while we are in our prisons.

  6. Michelle says:

    This post reminds me of one of the most painful moments of my life: being wrongly accused of academic misconduct. I was constantly trying to find my way out of this pain and for a long time, that’s all I would pray to God. I didn’t understand why God would put me through this situation when it was obviously too difficult for me to handle. Even the Bible says that God won’t give us something that is too difficult for us to handle, but I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t out of my reach. I was heartbroken and focused on getting justice for the situation instead of finding comfort and peace through Christ. As I slowly began to lay down this burden and trust in God instead of fighting through trying to find a way out, I began to feel myself growing closer to God and praising Him more and more for the little things. He eventually delivered and I still haven’t stopped praising Him for providing. Even though it was a terrible hardship, I can tell that God has used it to grow patience within me and help me grow in my trust towards Him. It’s crazy awesome how the stories in the Bible are being played out even in our own times today!

  7. God > everything. Love this. God is always with us and he always has a plan!

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