“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”Genesis 39:9
Joseph was favoured by his father and that provoked jealousy in his brothers such that they would have killed him but for Rueben’s restraint. Nine of Joseph’s brothers wanted him dead but, when Rueben was absent, they sold Joseph to Ishmaelite slave traders. Joseph was seventeen years old. He became a slave in Potiphar’s house in Egypt. His statement quoted above shows that he was not angry or bitter with God. It reveals that he did everything as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). His resistance to temptation (v 8) would be severely tested as Potiphar’s wife came again and again (v 10). Nagging is Satan’s way to test and weaken our resolve to serve the Lord. The Holy Spirit does not nag.
Eventually Joseph had to flee (v 12) and was then falsely accused (v 14) and cast into prison (v 20). Even there he did not get angry or bitter with God but continued to glorify Him (1 Corinthians 10:31). At no time did the Lord leave Joseph. He continued to favour him as a slave and as a prisoner.
Where we are physically in this world is of little importance. What is important is where we are in our relationship with God. Oswald Chambers writes:
“The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God.”
“When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical.”Oswald Chambers
Joseph is an example of one who maintained his relationship with the Lord regardless of his physical circumstances or place. Paul understood this when he wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Fear and anxiety reveal that we are not content to serve the Lord where He has placed us. This may be especially so if we are where we are because of the unjust actions of others. We may admire Joseph but have no inclination to serve the Lord as he did. But what is God after? Jesus answers that in John 17:21, “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”