now joseph had been brought down to egypt, and potiphar, an officer of pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an egyptian, had bought him from the ishmaelites who had brought him down there. the LORD was with joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his egyptian master. his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. so joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. from the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the egyptian’s house for joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. [genesis 39:1-5]


one of the things that isn’t quite captured in the english translations of the bible is this term: LORD–it appears thousands of times in scripture, but why is it written this way, in all caps? (obviously with our lower-cased formatting here it sticks out more.)


it is the name of God, YHWH, and when it appears in scripture it is rendered “Adonai”, “my Lord.”  Adonai has embedded in it the idea of sovereignty over our lives:


and sovereign he is:


why should the nations say,

    “where is their God?” 

pur God is in the heavens;

    he does all that he pleases. [psalm 115:2-3]


all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

    and he does according to his will among the host of heaven

    and among the inhabitants of the earth;

and none can stay his hand

    or say to him, “what have you done?” [daniel 4:35]


whom did he consult,

    and who made him understand?

who taught him the path of justice,

    and taught him knowledge,

    and showed him the way of understanding?

behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

    and are accounted as the dust on the scales;

    behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. [Isaiah 40:14-15]


he is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, [Hebrews 1:3]


in genesis 39:1-5, YHWH, Adonai-LORD is mentioned five times in five verses, showing that his hand of absolute sovereignty is a part of his entire story, this chapter that starts in slavery  then ends in wrong imprisonment, (with some worldly success in the middle) shows us that suffering is part of God’s way of enacting his soveriegn plan.


God has not abandoned you, even if you are in the midst of a chapter of pain right now.  Sometimes, even from well meaning people you hear “just wait–it will get better” but God does not promise to relieve that pain in the here and now–it will get better, that is the hope we have to look forward to it will be better at the end:


he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away [revelation 21:4]


but for now, we must trust in the LORD, Adonai, the Sovereign, for his goodness, even in pain.  Go in your suffering to the Father through Jesus Christ by his Holy Spirit!


~ ce