The central character of this second article in our series looking at the blessings of God’s presence is called Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob.
We meet Joseph at the point when he was taken to Egypt by Ishmaelite traders, who in turn sold him to Potiphar, captain of the guard for Pharaoh. In Genesis 39:2, we read a very significant statement that was a recurring theme in the narrative about Joseph’s life: ‘the Lord was with Joseph’. In other words, Joseph knew the presence of God. This statement underpinned everything that happened with Joseph subsequently.
The full statement about God’s presence in Joseph’s life says, ‘The Lord was with Joseph, and so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master’. In other words, the presence of God was at the heart of Joseph’s progress and prosperity. It follows therefore, that if we want to make progress and know the blessings of God, we need His presence. Joseph’s Egyptian master noticed that God was with him and gave him success in all he did. As a result he made Joseph his chief steward, putting him in charge of his home. This is instructive. If you want to make progress, cultivate, crave, seek, desire and ask that God would be with you.
Later on in Joseph’s life whilst at Potiphar’s house, he was falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife and thrown into prison. Again we read a very telling phrase in Genesis 39:21. It says, ‘but the Lord was with Joseph in prison, and showed him his faithful love.’ Joseph became a favourite of the prison warder. It was not long before he was put in charge of all the other prisoners and everything else in the prison. Again we read, ‘The Lord was with him, and caused everything he did to succeed.’ (Genesis 39:23)
So, we see a very clear link between the presence of God and favour that Joseph experienced. We see a direct connection between God being with Joseph and Joseph succeeding in everything he did. This raises a number of questions. First of all, why was God with Joseph? Secondly, why Joseph in particular? The text does not tell us specifically, but I would like to submit to you, based on an understanding of the rest of Joseph’s life, that he was an instrument of redemption in the hand of God, and therefore God was committed to him. However there was a second reason. This perhaps is the most critical. It is the fact that Joseph was a man of integrity who reverenced God, sought to honour Him, and loved what he did, worked hard at it, and sought to be an example to all. Because of that, God caused him to succeed. The favour of God was on him. God’s presence guaranteed His favour on Joseph’s life.
The point of application is self-evident: if you desire the blessings of God’s presence, the first thing is to be a man or woman of integrity. Secondly, love God. Thirdly, be diligent and work hard in what you do. Fourthly, seek to be of benefit to others. As you do so, God will not only bless you; He will cause you to be a blessing. Remember, His presence guarantees your success.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
PS: If you have been inspired, provoked or learnt something from this article, why not do any or all of the following: (i) leave some feedback or a comment, either positive or developmental; (ii) recommend it to a friend; (iii) share it with a friend. This will encourage and help me to serve you better, so together we can make a difference in our world.