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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Even in Egypt

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

In the Old Testament Egypt was both a place of refuge and a place of restriction. Joseph, a favored son, was taken to Egypt against his will, to be enslaved then incarcerated. But he prospered there in his constricted places, in fact, prospered greatly, even as a slave. He found favor in his master’s house and later with the chief jailer. Although his jealous brothers had sold him into slavery, mocking him as a dreamer, “The Lord was with him,” (Gen. 39:2) and who can stop the Lord?

When he was in his master Potipher’s house he thrived in leadership. Even when he was tempted by Potipher’s wife he resisted “this great evil” (Gen. 39:9). Her angry lies led to his incarceration, yet still “the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him and gave him favor” with the prison warden (Gen. 39:21). He had God’s presence, kindness and favor, and “whatever he did, the Lord made him prosper” (v. 23). Amazing!

Joseph not only resisted evil during this time, but he built relationships. He cared for those in his care (Gen. 40:7); he noticed them. In fact, everyone in his care was greatly fruitful (Ex. 1:7).

Of course, Joseph wanted out of prison. He had interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker and the dreams were fulfilled just as he said. Joseph told them: “Remember me, get me out of here, I am innocent!” (40:14) Still two more years passed before Pharaoh’s cupbearer remembered him as a dream interpreter.

After Joseph was summoned and interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, he was elevated to leadership in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. He married and had two sons, naming his second son Ephraim, meaning fruitful. Joseph declared: “He made me fruitful in the land of my affliction!” (Gen. 41:52) Joseph understood that God had meant all his suffering for good.

While we are in a land of restriction, hoping for deliverance, He asks us to wait on Him. This waiting is not dull inactivity, it’s active collaboration with His instructions in that season. He simply asks us to give all our trust to Him, even in the constraints of Egypt. And in that trust, we can expect to be met with his kindness and favor, thriving despite the restriction.

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