Part 4 of a 5-Part family devotional by Brent Lanigan
As of this writing, it has been 12 weeks since our world went into the daily reality of quarantining and social distancing. Before March 12, very few of us had ever heard of COVID-19 or the terms related to it – such as flattening the curve and personal protective equipment. And now, almost 3 months later, living in a COVID-19 world has become our regular routine.
But getting used to living in a world with rules and protocols related to COVID-19 does not make things easier, does it? Our lives have been drastically interrupted by this virus and it has caused us a lot of heartache, frustration, fear and anxiety.
At times like this it is important to turn to the Bible and draw strength and hope from the stories of biblical characters who went through similar duress in their lives but saw God carry them through it. Specifically, I think of the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, 39-45. Over the next 5 devotionals, we will discover what we can learn about God from Joseph’s life. Are you ready? Let’s begin…
Part 4: God Is With Us
Genesis 39:1-4, 6-7, 12, 17, 20-23 (ICB) Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar was an officer to the king of Egypt…He bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph…He lived in the house of his master, Potiphar the Egyptian. Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph. So Potiphar was very happy with Joseph. He put Joseph in charge of the house. Joseph was trusted with everything Potiphar owned. Now Joseph was well built and handsome. After some time the wife of Joseph’s master began to desire Joseph. But Joseph left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. She kept his coat until her husband came home. She said, “This Hebrew slave you brought here came in to shame me!” So Potiphar arrested Joseph and put him into prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. The Lord caused the prison warden to like Joseph. The prison warden chose Joseph to take care of all the prisoners. He was responsible for whatever was done in the prison. This was because the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord made Joseph successful in everything he did.
Story Snippet: This part of Joseph’s story is both good and bad. First, Joseph arrived in Egypt as a slave and was sold to Potiphar: that was bad. But then Potiphar made Joseph head servant and he had freedom: good! Then Potiphar got mad at Joseph and put Joseph in prison: bad. But then Joseph was put in charge of the other prisoners even though he was still a prisoner: good! In addition, the story keeps repeating something very important: that God was with Joseph in every single situation: when he was a slave, when he was a servant of Potiphar, and when he was a prisoner in jail; both in the good times and the bad times. Because that is what God does.
Lesson For Us
Did you know that God does the same thing for us? He is with us right now, every moment, even while COVID-19 keeps raging on. God knows what’s happening in our world but he hasn’t forgotten about us. Even though we cannot see him, he is watching over us and wants us to know he is with us. He was with Joseph in his troubled times and he is with us in these troubled times. Because that is what God does: he never leaves us alone.
Verse To Remember
Be strong and brave. Don’t be frightened. God will go with you. Deuteronomy 31:6a (ICB)
Questions To Discuss
1) Read the Bible passage again. How many times does it say God was with Joseph?
2) Was God with Joseph in all 3 situations (slave, servant, prisoner)?
3) Do you think God is always with you in both good and bad times? How do you know?
Thank you God for being with Joseph each moment of his life, both the good times and bad. And thank you that you will always be with me too, both my bad times and happy times. Amen.