Joseph, Single Guy in|
the Egyptian Fastlane!
by Cary Branscum
Wow! You think YOU feel disoriented by change, have you read the story of Joseph (Genesis chapter 39)?
Joseph was a single guy who zoomed up the career ladder at dizzying speed. He ended up a great leader in the country he first entered as a slave. But before we get carried away, lets back up a minute, and go over his story.
Joseph grew up a cherished son of Jacob, and like many children in many households, he seemed to excel at making his siblings jealous. Maybe it was the special gifts Joseph received from his father, like the coat of many colors, which alienated his brothers. Maybe it was Josephs reputation as a dreamer, and interpreter of dreams, that offended them. Maybe it was the content of those dreams, the ones where Josephs brothers bowed down to him, that made them loathe him. Their feelings went way beyond resentment. They planned to kill him. Fortunately for everyone, their plans were thwarted, and Joseph was sold to a caravan of traders heading for Egypt. Upon arriving in Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaohs officials. At this point, things REALLY got interesting.
You see, the Lord was with Joseph, and so he prospered in spite of being treated unfairly. In fact, Potiphar trusted him with everything in his household. Potiphar was right to trust Joseph, but Potiphars wife wasnt so trustworthy. She had a roving eye and it landed on Joseph. The Bible tells us Joseph was good looking, and Mrs. Potiphar was fairly straightforward with her intentions. We may all imagine what this woman looked like, but we actually know very little about her, except for her insistence of having her way. This woman would not take No! for an answer. One day she caught Joseph by the cloak, and he ran away, leaving the cloak in her hand. She framed Joseph, charging him with the offense he specifically was trying to flee. She had him sent to prison. But even in prison, God remembered Joseph. I urge you to read the rest of the account, but lets stop at this point and focus a few that apply to singles:
- You can be treated unfairly by family, friends, coworkers, but God is on your side and will help you. He does not forget His children, not a SINGLE one of His children, even if the circumstances suggest that at first glance.
- Being single in a big, new city can be intimidating. You find yourself busy, broke, and maybe overwhelmed by your environment. You face a special challenge to keep your commitment to God in spite of so many temptations. Bigger cities do offer opportunities and also more pitfalls! You have to proactively work on your faith, renewing your commitment to God everyday.
- When and if prosperity comes your way, give God the glory for He is the One who gives us success. Yes, you may work for it, and God may not just drop success in your lap, but the opportunity comes from His grace. On the other hand, you may never have great material prosperity and political power like Joseph; but you can BE RICH IN FAITH like he was! That way you will have what really matters, just like Joseph did.
- SAY NO TO SIN! Joseph did the best thing; he ran away from overwhelming temptation. If you face temptation, RUN. Joseph knew something we all must learn: to stay and reason with temptation is to stay and LOSE. Get away from it, find the way out God promises in I Corinthians 10:13
- Build a reputation of being trustworthy no matter what. There are no shortcuts. Trust has to be built. It can be destroyed so easily. A reputation of trust and faith in God will help you ultimately win if you do not give up and lose heart.
Joseph was a single person who committed to God before all his trouble started, and that faith saw him through to ultimate victory. God will see you through whatever you are facing right now. Your problems may be even tougher than the problems Joseph had. It doesnt matter, God will help you through them if you will keep the faith and hang in when everything looks like its going against you. When in Egypt, when faced with a lying accuser, when hated by those you love, when forgotten and abandoned, dont lose heart. God remembered Joseph and he will not forget you!