but one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “lie with me.” but he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. and as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “see, he has brought among us a hebrew to laugh at us. he came in to me to lie with me, and i cried out with a loud voice. and as soon as he heard that i lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “the hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. but as soon as i lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”
as soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “this is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. and joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
how fresh is your thankfulness for being saved every day? how long does seeing God’s faithfulness in a situation prevent you from going back down the road to self-pity? i am humbled to admit, my “thankfulness memory” can be quite short. i can be driving home right after God has encouraged me with something, and one irritating driver derails a day’s worth of abiding in the vine and living in thankfulness for all God has done and is doing. and i have a lot to be thankful to God for!
now let’s look at joseph. what has God done so far for him? God gave him dreams, but those dreams were used to drive a wedge in his family that ended up with joseph being sold into slavery. now joseph may know to give God credit for his brothers deciding to sell him instead of killing him, but he may not. joseph doesn’t exactly have a long list of things in his life to be thankful for. yet even amid his suffering, he chooses to remember his God, at no personal benefit! how could he remember so little faithfulness for so long, when we seem to forget great faithfulness so quickly? by the hesed of the Lord! and that transforming steadfast love is available to us in all its fullness by the indwelling Holy Spirit!
Lord, forgive our short memory for your faithfulness. teach us to root our identity and our thoughts in the work you have done and continue to do, so that we may be steadfast in our trust and love of you. our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak; please help, oh God of joseph!
~ stephen hall