Joseph: the golden touch

Cover to Cover

Reading: Genesis 39:1-41:57

Focus: Genesis 39:2-6, 20-23

There is an ancient Greek myth about a king who wished that everything he touched turned to gold. The story of King Midas is often told with the moral that selfishness, greed and prosperity does not always bring happiness. However, the story of Joseph is one story of a golden touch used selflessly and generously for the benefit of others. It is no surprise to see the progression in Joseph’s life as he eventually became the second-in-command of Egypt.

Regardless of where Joseph was based, no matter what situation was in, Joseph was a man who knew his place. This solid identity was found in and through his relationship with the LORD God. As such, he knew his success was due solely to the blessing and providence of his God. We aren’t told about Joseph’s life as a slave/prisoner, but we can only imagine that it entailed all the hardships that accompany such a life, however, it didn’t deter him from living his life in the knowledge that his God was sovereign.

It is easy for us on the other side of history to look back at Joseph and say, “He got it easy, everything did God blessed.” And sure, that’s how it was, but in the midst of Joseph’s hardships as a slave/prisoner, one would hardly be surprised if he wondered what God was doing in his life. For close to a decade, Joseph served as an attendant to Potiphar, after being framed was in prison for a number of years before finally being released into the Pharaoh’s service as second-in-command, just over the age of 30.

Yet, all so often we look up to God and complain, “Why is my life like this? What are you doing, God? I’ve been serving and working hard for so many years…why am I still here?” I don’t doubt there may have been times where Joseph was the same, but as his story relates, in committed, faithful service God stands by His people. When life is lived by the precepts and statutes of the LORD God, I dare to say that one cannot avoid His blessing and prosperity. Now, I’m careful to make the distinction that prosperity is not necessarily found in material wealth and possession, further, I am firm that God’s blessing and prosperity is for the further use and blessing of others and not one’s selfish ambitions.

God has given each one of His people gifts and abilities to be used for His glory and praise. Those who are faithful stewards of what has been given will be given more. As Joseph grew in stature, we see a picture of selflessness rather than selfishness. As King Midas received the golden touch, while his initial joy in his golden material possessions grew, it benefitted no one for even those he loved turned to gold at his touch…

Next Reading: Genesis 42:1-43:34