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
Favor in captivity? I thought the two were mutually exclusive. Another reminder that God 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, he couldn’t know that his prison was the doorway to leadership. The story will take an amazing turn when Joseph shares a cell with two men that came from the royal court. Their crimes, and their time in Joseph’s company, will bring Joseph’s name before the Pharoah.
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 too. For 400 years, they will doubt His goodness. Yet history will prove that God gave them favor during slavery.
Here are a few things I’ve learned firsthand about captivity. The one confined never feels favored. Pain obscures any vision of blessing. Time-bound perspectives limit a view of life. Expectations of what favor looks like is blinding to what’s happening behind the scenes.
If I’m in a prison from which I can’t escape, how do I surmount these challenges? Faith and trust in the character and promises of God. 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 the narrow pathway to the gateway of advancement.
Every time I accused You, You were fashioning something beautiful. I’m sorry, and I will remember! Amen