The LORD was with Joseph

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Joseph rejects Potiphar's wife's advances. And God was with Joseph.
Image source Free Bible Images

Several times in today’s Bible reading*, Moses brings out that the LORD was with Joseph. Moses uses God’s Covenant-making, Covenant-keeping name Yahweh to emphasize that even though it seemed that Joseph’s world was falling apart, God was right there with him in the midst of it all.

God was with Joseph when he was put in charge of Potiphar’s affairs, and God was with Joseph when Potiphar sent Joseph to prison and was put in charge of the prison’s affairs. Not only was God with Joseph, but He also made everything Joseph did prosper. (Genesis 39:3, 23)


So God was with Joseph and made everything he did prosper. Joseph found favor with Potiphar and with the prison warden. Does that mean that if a Believer simply trusts God, then God will bless everything the Believer does and give the Believer favor with everyone in positions of authority? Maybe. And maybe not.

Remember that Genesis recounts history. There’s a lot in the book that recounts God’s people acting badly (including today’s readings). History is mostly descriptive. It is not prescriptive. In other words, history describes things that happened. History doesn’t prescribe to us the way things are supposed to happen, encouraging us to repeat the prescription. So if you’re looking for a Bible passage where God promises to bless a Believer who does something, you need to look elsewhere. (By the way, you won’t find it in the Bible) God never obligates Himself to do something (especially for material gain) in exchange for that person doing — or not doing — something. That’s called “Transactional Religion” and Transactional Religion is not the Gospel Message.

The Gospel Message spells out very clearly that God owes His people nothing. Nothing. That God would save anyone is a testament to the awesome grace of God! That God would do anything for anyone is a glowing statement of God’s awesome grace and mercy. For God to do something for someone because they did something for God would mean that God pays wages, and doesn’t graciously give undeserved favor (the definition of “grace”).

If you’re ever in a situation and think that God owes you something
because of something you did (or didn’t do),
you need to rethink your relationship with God … and repent.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
– Genesis 38
– Genesis 39
– Genesis 40

This devotional was originally published on January 17, 2021.

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