The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. (Genesis 39:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Even though he was thrown in a pit by his brothers. Even though he was sold into slavery. Even though his father Jacob thought he was dead. Even though he was hounded by temptation and sin by Potiphar’s wife, thrown into prison, a long, long way from home down in Egypt. Even through all that, the Lord was with Joseph.
The Lord never stopped being with Joseph. In the next chapter of Genesis we hear that God gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and, in doing so, was able to prepare the land for a great famine.
The Lord was with Joseph so that through him, Egypt, and even his own family, would find food when it became scarce. The Lord was with Joseph and brought about reconciliation between him and his brothers. What they meant for evil, God used for their good.
And not only their good, but yours. Because the Lord was with Joseph, the people of Israel ended up in Egypt for over 400 years. Because Israel was in Egypt, the Lord rescued them in the Exodus and delivered them to the Promised Land. Because Israel was in the Promised Land, God brought about the passing of time through the period of judges, kings, a divided kingdom, exile, and return, preparing the way for the long-expected Messiah. And in the fullness of time the God who was with Joseph in Egypt was born to be our Immanuel, God with us.
Like Joseph before him, Jesus even spent some time in exile in Egypt that He would rescue us all from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. Like Joseph before us, God is with us, too. When we are tempted to sin, the Lord is with us. When we fall into temptation, the Lord is with us to bring us to repentance and forgiveness. When we were in bondage to slavery and captive in the pit of death, Jesus was with us, just as He was with Joseph, to rescue, redeem, and restore us.
And the same Lord who was with Joseph and with us in human flesh still dwells with us in His Word, water, Body and Blood. No matter what, the Lord is with you. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Keep watch over your church, O Lord, with your unfailing love; and, since it is grounded in human weakness and cannot maintain itself without your aid, protect it from all danger, and keep it in the way of salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.