The Principle from Joseph's Prison
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In this episode...
The Principle from Joseph's Prison
When Joseph went to prison after being wrongfully accused of assault, he maintained his integrity and faith. How did he do it, and how can you hold your own integrity as the business world tells you to change to win? Faithful on the Clock Episode 72 has advice.
[00:04] - Intro
[00:37] - The story of Joseph begins with Joseph being sold into slavery by his own brothers. He ends up in Egypt with Potiphar, Pharoah’s captain of the guard, as his master.
[01:47] - When Joseph rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife, she lied to Potiphar to have Joseph punished. Potiphar had Joseph sent to prison rather than killed.
[02:42] - Despite being in a horrible place, Joseph held to his integrity. That integrity helped get him in front of Pharoah to interpret dreams, which set Joseph free.
[03:49] - God prepared Joseph for his mission through both his time in Potiphar’s house and his time in prison.
[04:45] - When Joseph was in Potiphar’s house, God blessed Potiphar’s house because of Joseph.
[06:02] - When Joseph was in prison, God helped Joseph find favor in the warden’s eyes, and just as it had been in Potiphar’s house, all the things Joseph did in the prison succeeded. Through all this, Joseph stayed humble and recognized where his help was coming from. He didn’t have to bend or lose integrity because he saw that his faith was still rewarded.
[07:30] - Based on Joseph’s story, when you face times in your career where you are pressured to sacrifice your values, you can remember God already is going to bless you and that you don’t have to be afraid.
[08:26] - Even though Joseph’s time in prison wasn’t a cakewalk, he knew his rewards weren’t coming from people. In the same way, you can trust that you don’t have to play games or depend on others to get ahead. Instead, you can rely on God for your provision.
[09:15] - God is not your vending machine. Be careful that when you come under pressure, you do not get upset when He doesn’t give you what you pray for or offers a different solution than the one you expected. The way to align yourself with His will is to admit your need first, ask for direction, and then walk whatever path He gives you.
[10:51] - Prayer
[11:32] - Outro/What’s coming up next
- Joseph went from being the favorite of his father to being sold into slavery. After living in the house of Potiphar, Pharoah’s captain of the guard, he was sent to prison because Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph assaulting her.
- Joseph had integrity and God was with him, but the Egyptian prison likely would have been full of men and beliefs that would put pressure on Joseph to sacrifice his values. Yet, Joseph held firm.
- God was preparing Joseph for the mission of saving the people of Egypt through both his time at Potiphar’s house and his time in prison.
- What made Joseph able to hold his integrity was that God constantly delivered what he needed as he needed it. This provision didn’t remove him from his bad circumstances, but it allowed him to survive and develop for the mission he had. Joseph had been rewarded for his faith and thus had no reason to believe he needed to abandon what was working.
- When you are challenged to change or bend your values within the corporate environment, like Joseph, you can look at the rewards you are granted for your faith and remember that you do not need any provider but Him. You do not have to look to others or bend to them to succeed so long as He is with you.
- Be careful as you go through your own prison that you do not treat God as your vending machine. Just because he doesn’t offer the solution you prayed for doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a solution that’s part of His plan. Pray for His help, ask what He wants you to do, and then follow that, rather than getting disappointed that He didn’t deliver what YOU thought would work.
- Think about your work environment. What are some of the biggest sources of pressure to conform for you? Come up with at least one way to push back against that pressure.
- List out your values and identify how they align with God. The clearer you are on those values, the easier it will be for you to defend and maintain them when others want you to change.
What’s coming up next:
You know the type — the scammer guru promises you overnight success for just $19.99. Episode 73 of Faithful on the Clock helps you identify these types of “professionals,” convince others you’re a legitimate leader, and figure out where to go for real help.
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Hey, everybody! Wanda Thibodeaux here, I’m your host for the Faithful on the Clock podcast, where I count out the best sprinkles to get your faith and work aligned. If you’ve ever been in a position where people were pressuring you to be somebody you knew God wouldn’t want you to be, today’s show is a gem. We’re gonna be talking about the story of Joseph and what you can learn about his integrity when he was in Pharoah’s prison in Egypt. Stick around, because that’s coming up right now.[:
All right, listeners. So I’m just gonna hop right in here. The story of Joseph actually begins in Genesis 37. And when his story starts, he’s just seventeen years old. And he has a ton of brothers, and they’re all out tending their dad’s flocks. Well, Joseph, who is really their dad’s favorite kid, brings his dad a bad report about his brothers, and at the same time, God is bringing Joseph dreams that suggest that one day, they’ll all bow down to him. So his brothers, you know, they really are not liking him at all. And so when they get the chance, they sell him as a slave. And the people who bought Joseph take him down to Egypt. So you can imagine just how heartwrenching that was, to go from, you know, being the family favorite in his dad’s eyes to just completely losing his freedom, being abandoned by his brothers and being forced into a land he didn’t know anything about. But when he gets to Egypt, he’s bought by a guy named Potiphar. And Potiphar was Pharoah’s right-hand man. Really powerful guy. And over time, Joseph does such a good job working for Potiphar that Potiphar puts him in charge of his entire house.[:
Now here’s where it gets even dicier. Potiphar’s wife, she starts feeling a little hot for Joseph. And multiple times, she propositions him. And he’s having none of it. He tries to run away from her. But he leaves his cloak behind, and Potiphar’s wife is so furious that a slave refused her advances that she tricks Potiphar into thinking that Joseph assaulted her. Well, of course, Potiphar is ridiculously angry. But there was something in the relationship he had with Joseph that made him have some mercy. So you know, Potiphar, he could have had Joseph taken out and killed. But instead, he sends Joseph to prison. So it’s really important you understand this background because Joseph had not done anything wrong. You know, you hear all these cases today of people being wrongfully accused. Well, that kind of stuff happened back then, too, and Joseph was a victim of it.[:
So, the bottom line is, Joseph is a guy with some integrity. And he didn’t know why he’d ended up in Egypt, you know, God hadn’t revealed that to him yet, but God was with him. And so you’ve got this guy in just the worst place. And I’m sure there were other people in the prison who’d been wrongfully accused just like he was, but you know, this wasn’t a place to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth. It was full of guys who were probably thugs and thieves, murderers, all that kind of stuff. And being in Egypt, not only were these probably really rough guys, but a lot of them probably were people who didn’t worship God, who worshipped the Egyptian gods instead. So you know, there’s a lot of pressure around Joseph to behave differently. But what we see Joseph do is pretty remarkable. Instead of caving to all that pressure, he holds to his integrity. And over time, because he stays willing to help other people and interprets dreams for some of the people there, he ends up in front of Pharoah, interprets Pharoah’s dream about the famine to come, and Pharoah lets him out of prison.[:
Now, what I want you to see is, Joseph’s story started with dreams that gave a glimpse of what his future would be. And then from there on out, what we see is God preparing Joseph for that future and the responsibility he eventually would have during the famine of handling the storage and distribution of Egypt’s grain. In Potiphar’s house, he learned all kinds of things about Egypt and the people and how the culture worked. He learned real management skills, kinda got to see the government hands on. And then in the prison, he had to manage pretty tough stuff. You know, being in that prison probably helped him understand an entirely different side to that country he was in, you know what I mean? It probably taught him to be really discerning, how to read people really well in a completely different way. And I don’t think it was an accident that God showed him the best and worst of what Egypt had to offer.[:
So God was preparing Joseph for a specific mission, but what made it so that Joseph didn’t bend? Because, I mean, at least here in America, the saying is that if you go to prison, you either show you’re, you know, not somebody to mess with, or you make some kind of immoral arrangement with somebody to get the protection you’ll need. Those are kind of the main ways to survive. So keep in mind, this all started with God giving Joseph dreams. And now let me read Exodus 39:2-6. And that says, “ The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.”[:
OK. Got that? All right. Now, let me skip ahead a little to Exodus 39:20-23. And that says, “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” So there was never a time in this story that God wasn’t with Joseph. And Joseph had faith. Even when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he’s like, “No, how can I do that and sin against God?” So Joseph had no reason to change course because, you know, it’s not like he hadn’t been mistreated, but he knew what it was like to have God watch his back. And so when he’s sitting there in prison, even there, God helps him out, makes him look good to the warden, and Joseph sees that this pattern of getting some help is still happening. So he knows he’s doing the right thing by holding to his integrity, because even though he’s not in the greatest situation, God’s still giving him what he needs to succeed where he is. And when he gets in front of Pharoah, he’s totally humble because he knows where his help is coming from. He tells Pharoah, you know, “I can’t interpret your dream, but God can.”[:
So let’s bring this back to you and the present day and your workplace. There are absolutely gonna be times in your career when you are under pressure to give up your values. People might come to you and ask you to cook the books. They might ask you to sign off on a deal you know will hurt people. You might have somebody who says they’ll make you richer than you ever could want if you’ll just agree to cheat the customer a little. These things, they really happen out there. And people are gonna tell you, well, you wanna get anywhere, you wanna get ahead, you gotta play the game a little. And so when you get into those situations, you just gotta tell yourself, “Why in the world would I sacrifice my integrity when the God I’ve got faith in is already gonna bless me? Why would I put my values through the dirt when I’ve got nothing to be afraid of?”[:
Now, this isn’t saying Joseph’s time in prison was a cakewalk. It’s just saying that he understood that faith has its reward. And so what I want you to understand is that Joseph knew his rewards weren’t coming from people. He knew he didn’t have to rely on them to prosper. And in the same way, you don’t have to rely on other people to prosper, either. When God is with you and you are faithful to him, there’s nothing anybody can do to stop you. And with that being true, you know, you can look at what people are telling you, all of these, well, you’ll only get somewhere if you play along kinds of things, you can look at that and say, “Actually, that’s a bunch of you know what. I know who’s gonna get me to the top and it ain’t you.”[:
The last thing I want to mention here, it’s just kind of a caution. And I’ve said this before in different ways, but what I tell people is, God is not your vending machine. I think a lot of us have this idea that if we just pray to God for something, He’s obligated to give it. And we use verses like Matthew 7:7-8 about asking and it will be given, or we use Jeremiah 29:11 about God knowing the plans He has to prosper us. And we assume what we want is what God wants. But friends, I’m telling you, that’s not always true. And I want you to understand that as you sit in your personal prison, whatever that might be, you might pray for something, and it might not come. But that does not mean that God isn’t with you. It just means that He’s got another way, I promise you, a better way of filling the needs you have. And you have to be open to whatever solution He’s gonna present, OK? It might not be the solution you expected, and He might come to you in a still, small voice instead of thunder, but He knows what’s gonna work. So just let Him take care of you, and if you’re gonna pray, I say just ask for the help. Just admit you’re stuck or in a bad place and under pressure and then just ask Him to reveal whatever solution is in His plans for you. That’s how you align what He wants with your own actions, is you ask Him to set the solution or path first and then you get on your shoes and walk it.[:
So with that said, let’s go ahead and pray.
Lord, the business world is full of people who tell us that we have to change in order to be successful, that we have to bend our values to the system to make everything work. But Lord your values are bigger than any system we can build, and those values can break any evil we might encounter. So let us remember that the reward for faith is provision, so that we realize we don’t have to sacrifice what’s right or who we are to move forward. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.[:
Another show is done, everybody. I don’t know, maybe it’s just this whole idea that Jesus really does set you free that laid this episode on my heart, but I just pray today that it encourages you to hold firm. For our next episode, I’m gonna be discussing the scammer guru. You know the person. They’re that person who tries to sell you overnight success for just $19.99 or whatever it is. The show is gonna be about how to recognize those scammers, how to prove to others that you are NOT one of those scammers, and where to go for real help. Join our email list at faithfulontheclock.captivate.fm to make sure you’re on top of that release, and until then, be blessed.