The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his. — Proverbs 14:14
After suffering so much misfortune, Joseph prospered in remarkable ways, governing the land he had entered as a slave and being reunited with his family. It’s almost a storybook ending, in which the hero lives happily ever after. God’s hand of blessing was so firmly on Joseph that nothing could keep him down —not the jealousy of his brothers, not slavery, not false accusations, not imprisonment. He was like the bar of soap that keeps rising to the top no matter how many times it’s shoved beneath the water.
Was there something about Joseph that made it easy for God to bless him? Consider his position in Potiphar’s house and his response to Potiphar’s wife’s attempt to seduce him: “No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
Now consider the first temptation of the first man, Adam: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:15–17). Like Joseph, Adam was put in charge of everything. His master, God, had withheld nothing from him, except one thing—fruit from a tree in Eden. But, unlike Joseph, it was the one thing Adam could not refuse himself. And his disobedience ruined him for paradise.
It seems clear that obedience is a key to experiencing God’s blessing. A life of obedience, coupled with God’s power, is what enabled Joseph to provide deliverance for so many people. A life of obedience is what enabled Jesus to restore our relationship with God and open the gates of paradise. Like Jesus and like Joseph, we all are called to counter Adam’s sin by living our life in loving obedience to God, realizing that His blessings are a taste of the paradise that awaits us.
Father, I can only imagine what a man like Joseph must have felt, to be betrayed by his own brothers, to be sold as a slave, and then to be imprisoned for something he didn’t do. The next time I go through something difficult, help me not to waste time complaining about my life or wondering if you care about what’s happening to me. Instead, remind me of Joseph. Give me his courage, his faith, and his patience. Bless me so that I will be a blessing to many others.
* * *
Complaining is so much easier for our flesh than living a life of obedience to God with a good attitude no matter what the circumstances. What blessings might we be foregoing in our complaining instead of trusting and obeying? How have you seen God bless you and enable you with power in your life because of obedience? Please leave a comment on our blog. ~ Devotionals Daily