Genesis 39: Do you really want to be a servant?

When you search on job sites, do you filter for one with the description “servant?” Me neither. So how do we serve the Lord, a God of utmost perfection and power, while surrounded by a culture of “me’s” and “I’s,” where what we desire is celebrated and encouraged, even if it is against God’s will? In this chapter, Joseph shows us how to trust in the Lord’s promises by exemplifying true honor in servanthood.

How are we to be servants like Joseph?

Joseph was a 5-star earthly servant to his master, Potiphar. He was obedient, responsible, respectful, and dutiful, earning him high favor in the Pharaoh’s eyes. He was blessed with riches more than he ever imagined, yet he still remained a humble servant.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” – Matthew 25:21

Living in an imperfect world, we, like Joseph, experience earthly injustices. Even though Joseph did everything right, including refusing multiple sexual advances of his master’s wife, his master threw him into a dungeon on a lie. His master wronged his most faithful servant. Even though we are dutiful Christians, sometimes rumors are made about us, car accidents occur, family members die. Why me God? What did I do to deserve that God? I do everything right as a Christian. Shouldn’t I be rich by now God?

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” – Ephesians 6:1

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23

Servanthood is not defined by the position we are placed in, but by our attitude towards God, and in turn, towards those around us… even when no one is looking. We must always remember that greatness in God’s eyes is measured through a spirit of servanthood. Jesus, knowing He was from God and given divine power, did not demand a throne, earthly riches, or even a nice coat of many colors. Instead, He washed His servant’s feet, rode on a donkey, and was crucified for our sins.

People may wrong us, many times unfairly so, but the Lord is just. He hears our cries and will rescue us, His servants, captive in a world filled with sin. Even at the depths of the dark, cold, and dangerous dungeons, the Lord continued to bless Joseph, His servant who remained faithful even in the worst of circumstances. Joseph knew the Lord was more powerful than any earthly master, and that no matter how tragic the situation, God’s Providence always comes true. Let us serve the Lord even during those times of darkness, having faith and trust in His power and grace.


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