The Lord Blessed Joseph in Prison (Genesis 39:21)

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For the people of God, it seems like everywhere they go, a blessing follows.

But not a blessing in the traditional sense. Turn on mainstream Christian television, and you’ll hear people talking about blessings as if someone is airdropping favors from God from the sky.

For Joseph (and others), God “blessing” someone means helping them prosper in whatever scenario they find themselves in. Most of the time — dare I say all the time? —  it’s to achieve His goal, not ours. 

Such was the case for Joseph. After being sold to traders by his own family and accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, he finds himself in prison for a number of years. That’s a lonely place to be.

And yet Genesis 39:21 says that God “was with Joseph” and “extended kindness to him.” What does that mean?

The following verses explain it more fully. The Jailor was so impressed by Joseph that he left all the prisoners in his charge. Genesis 39:23 even states that Joseph operated completely unsupervised — a rarity in a jail that is most likely full of “white collar” criminals.

The entire scene mirrors Joseph’s relationship with Potiphar down to the most minute point. Both men entrusted a significant portion of their day-to-day operations to Joseph, who was blessed by God and who allowed what was under their management to increase.

As we’ll find out later, this period of Joseph’s life wasn’t just for his own benefit. Eventually, this road will take him to a position of prominence in Egypt, where he’s responsible not for Potiphar’s house or a jail full of prisoners, but the food distribution for an entire nation.

You and I may not like the “prisons” we find ourselves in from time to time. Like Joseph, we may be undergoing a period of intense trial and stress, but as long as we remain faithful to God, even the darkest times can reap some of the brightest benefits.