God Behind the Scenes

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 39
When the Ishmaelites arrived in Egypt with Joseph, they sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the guard, as a slave. In spite of the unpleasant situation in which he was found, the Lord was with him. No doubt Joseph wondered why all that sorrow had been allowed to come into his life, and yet the Lord did not tell him. We, too, might wonder why we have certain sorrows in our lives, and may ask the reason for them, but we shall understand someday. Although Joseph did not know in this world, how wonderful that he will discover up there that in all that happened to him, he was a type of the Lord Jesus in His death and exaltation.
A Watchful Enemy
Even Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph, and he put everything into his hand. How he was trusted! But just when things seemed to be going well again, Satan was laying a snare for his feet. We have a very watchful enemy who is more than a match for any of us, and who is trying to trip us up at every turn. Joseph’s heart was steadfast, however, for he was walking in the fear of God. When he was tempted to sin, his answer was, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” If we always looked at things in the light of God’s presence, we would act quite differently sometimes.
If the one who reads these lines is unsaved, let us warn you that sin must meet an awful judgment from the hand of God. We who are saved know that our sins were judged at the cross, for the Lord Jesus bore all the punishment which we deserved, but those who re­ject Christ will have to bear the full wrath of God against sin forever in the lake of fire — how solemn! Dear reader, come to Christ now, before the door of grace closes.
Suffering for Uprightness
Poor Joseph had to suffer for his up­rightness. Potiphar’s wife falsely ac­cused him, and he was cast into prison. Everything seemed to go wrong for him, but we cannot fail to notice how his faith in God was unshaken by all he passed through. Sometimes we have to suffer for righteousness sake, but if so, the comfort is, “happy are ye” (1 Peter 3:14), and so there was much blessing in store for Joseph, although for the time being he had to suffer. Only a true be­liever can walk in the path of faith, for our hearts are sustained in it by “look­ing unto Jesus.”
The fortieth chapter is very interest­ing indeed and shows us an important thing: God works behind the scenes. No matter where we are, God sees us and accomplishes His own plans and purposes for the blessing of His own. God had His eye upon Joseph behind those prison walls, and He allowed two men to be cast into prison with him. The anger of Pharaoh was thus used of God, as His Word tells us, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the re­mainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain” (Psalms 76:1010Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. (Psalm 76:10)). If someone gets angry at you, dear young reader, just take it from the Lord. He has allowed it for your good and blessing, just as Pharaoh’s anger was used to cause him to hear about Joseph. He will under­take your case if you leave it with Him, for “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:3131What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)).
Further Meditation
1. What did the Ishmaelites do with Joseph when they arrived in Egypt?
2. Having someone angry with you can be distressing. Sometimes we have done wrong things that lead to the anger. However Joseph was truly innocent, and yet his situation seemed to be getting worse. In fact it was 22 years between when his brothers threw him into the pit until they were restored to him. Can you find the verses that show that long wait? What discouragements did he have to suffer before the restoration?
3. Joseph truly lived for Christ in spite of all the trouble he experienced. As a result, we can learn a lot about the Lord Jesus from Joseph’s example. Joseph: A Fruitful Bough by C. Knapp gives an easy to read and reasonable short overview of Joseph as a figure of Christ in many of the incidents in his life.