The Joseph stories begin and, if ever there was a demonstration of God’s good and overriding providence on behalf of his people, here it is. Surely, this is Paul’s assurance of Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” – put into action. Joseph’s brothers were jealous and hated him, selling him into slavery. The brothers lied to their father, Jacob, and broke his heart. Falsely accused by Potipher’s wife, Joseph was thrown into an Egyptian prison to rot, “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. . . . the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed” (9:21-23). Of course, the story does not end with Joseph in prison, and God’s faithfulness to Joseph is still to be shown over and over again.
Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning;
sheltering you under his wings, and so gently sustaining!
Have you not seen all that is needful has been
sent by his gracious ordaining?
Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
if with his love he befriends you. -- Joachim Neander (1680)