Joseph at this time had just been taken down to Egypt. To be sold as slaves by the Ishmaelites. And during those days, slaves basically did not own any rights as human. They were forced to be publicly displayed naked and screened thoroughly by the potential buyers, lest they had any skin diseases, infections, or even hair lice. And, Mr. Potiphar, an officer of Egyptian Pharaoh, captain of the guard, bought him, as one of his slaves.
Gen 39:2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he was A SUCCESSFUL MAN; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
When I read this verse, I was puzzled because why would the Bible said Joseph was a Successful man? Joseph almost had nothing to wear, nothing to eat, no money, no bank accounts, not even any relatives who could help him, and he was sold in the strangers’ land. He had nothing and no friends no house. Yet the Bible said “he WAS SUCCESSFUL” (Past-tense: which means he already became successful). What a contradiction!
But then I realized that the Bible was God’s breathe, God wrote it, and thus a Successful man for God is defined differently from what human will define. Man will define successful when they see the glamourous glitters of successes around him. But, being Successful is not WHAT you have, but WHO is WITH YOU. The verse starts with The LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, and thus Joseph was already a Successful Man. Hallelujah, this is huge for us as believers, because today we do not just have the Lord with us, but we are one with the Lord, we are in CHRIST. We are so close and even closer than what Joseph was experiencing. And therefore, we are already Successful and whatever we touch will prosper in our hands.
Gen 39:3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.
Joseph did not have special skills to begin with, he simply was depending totally on the Lord in everything and for everything. When he was betrayed by his brothers, put in the pit, and sold to the slave traders, the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver, Joseph did not cry out to God, nor blame God for his misfortune. His faith could have broken down but he didn’t. And, yet he still believed that the Lord was faithful and with him even in the midst of his suffering. And, he stayed patiently enduring long suffering when he must. He did not complain to God for putting him as slave, instead he was determined to be a good slave, as being a good steward of God. If God put him as a slave then he should do this best as a slave for God. That is the kind of Godly attitude Joseph had. And, a good slave he became. His master could see something special in him and prompted him to trust Joseph and put him as the chief overseer of all slaves and with authority over all of his assets / properties, in charge of his whole house (Gen 39:4).
Gen 39:5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.
Another thing that amazed me is the lavishness of God, who blessed lavishly the Egyptian’s house, a non believer, a pagan worshiper, only for Joseph’s sake, so that Joseph could be blessed through the overflow of the Egyptian’s wealth. We see this marvelous faithfulness of God in the way He put the sun over the earth. Even though only a small portion of the sun light falls on earth and the rest is wasted in the vast universe, yet He does not mind it. For God so loved the world, is okay for Him to waste His resources for the world’s sake.