“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was he doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” (Genesis 39:20-23)
Joseph was a Hebrew who had been sold by his brothers, but God was with him. An Egyptian captain named Potiphar bought him. Joseph was honest and industrious. God blessed Joseph’s work in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar made Joseph overseer over all his goods. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife kept hitting on Joseph to have an affair with her. He didn’t just tell her “no;” he also told her why. He said, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) That was pretty bold, to tell a high-ranking military officer’s wife that she was wicked. She probably didn’t appreciate that comment, but Joseph was determined to do right.
One day she grabbed his garment, trying again to seduce him. He refused and fled, leaving the garment behind. Now she was mad. She told the house servants and her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. She even showed the garment as evidence. Now in Egypt, whom do you think everyone would believe: a high-ranking captain’s wife, or a young Hebrew slave?
So Joseph found himself in a foreign prison. His situation looked pretty miserable. However, look at our passage: “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy…” God allowed the whole situation with Potiphar’s wife play out, but God had not abandoned Joseph. Look at what happened to Joseph in the prison. He was put into a place of authority over the other prisoners. “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” People could see something different about Joseph. Even as a foreign prisoner, Joseph had integrity, served the Lord and did his best, and God blessed him in the middle of his predicament.
As a cop, you may find yourself in a bad situation that’s not your fault, like Joseph did. You may be in a place you don’t like, with a boss you don’t like or who doesn’t like you. You may not get a transfer to some great unit that you think you deserve. If you know Jesus as your Saviour, don’t be like some officers who say, “The city messed me over, so I’m not doing any work.” You don’t “get back at the city” by doing that—you sin against God, misuse taxpayer money by being lazy, and hurt innocent citizens who need your help. Maybe you got a bum deal, but so did Joseph. Psalms 37:3 says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good.” Ask the Lord to help you deal with it in a right way. Ask Him to use the situation to reach others with the gospel. Then trust in Him to work it out, and serve the Lord on the job by doing your best.
Most importantly, if you’ve not seen in the Bible how to have God’s forgiveness for sins and eternal life, please click on the “How do I go to Heaven?” link on the sidebar.
Brian Miller 3/24/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822