“And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined,
and he was there in prison.” (Genesis 39:20)
Yesterday, we read how Joseph did not give in to the invitation of his master’s wife to sleep with her. But that was not the end of the story. In her disappointment and frustration, this woman took revenge on Joseph by accusing him falsely: “He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house” (Genesis 39:14-15). And, of course, her husband believed her over his slave. He was very angry with Joseph and put him in prison.
Joseph had been a righteous and honest man, but was treated as a criminal. That was utterly unjust! But once again, we read that “the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love”.
Joseph is not the only one who has been treated unjustly despite of (or even because of!) his righteous behavior. Jesus warned his disciples that “the world” would hate them, just like Jesus Himself was rejected, ill-treated and ultimately crucified without ever having committed any sin.
Apparently, the fact that “the Lord is with us” does not prevent us from being treated badly. But the reverse is also true: being treated badly does not mean that the Lord has forsaken us. That’s what Joseph experienced.
This was one more step in God’s plan for his life, where Joseph learned to trust God despite his circumstances.
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