But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Genesis 39:21
Really? God gives favor in captivity? I thought the ideas of blessing and captivity were mutually exclusive. This is another reminder that what is logical to me is not logical to God. He turns a concept on its end and constantly surprises.
Joseph sat in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He probably had moments when he felt utterly forsaken by God. And yet, the reality was that his prison was the doorway to leadership. The story is about to take an amazing turn when Joseph shares a cell with men that came from the royal court. Their crimes, and their time in Joseph’s company, will bring Joseph’s name before the Pharaoh.
Has God blessed others in captivity? I was surprised to find direct proof. “And the Lord gave his people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.” Ex.11:3 Many generations after Joseph, the Hebrews will believe that their God has forgotten them. For 400 years, they will doubt His goodness. Yet history will prove that God gave them favor in the midst of slavery.
I’m old enough to have had significant periods of captivity. The one who is confined never feels favored. I can think of 3 reasons: 1.) Pain can obscure my vision of blessing. 2.) My view of my life is limited by time-bound perspective. And, 3.) My expectations of what favor looks like blinds me.
If I’m in a prison today from which I can’t escape, how do I surmount these three challenges? Faith and trust in the character and promises of God. I’ve got to live beyond myself by reviewing God’s legacy of faithfulness in the lives of His children. His reputation does not begin and end with what He is doing in my life. If I did nothing but read the story of Joseph to get to know the heart of God, I would cease to be tormented. Captivity is one of the narrow pathways to the gateway of advancement.
Every time I accused You, You were fashioning something beautiful. I’m sorry and I will remember! In Jesus’ name, Amen