Tuesday, August 1st, 2023
What is a "blessing" to you? I think the first things most of us think of are health, wealth, and success — the things that make our lives easier or better in our eyes. But when we restrict our concept of a blessing of the Lord to solely the things that make our lives easier, we miss out on the goodness and kindness of God when times are tough.
Joseph in the Bible was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, and remained in such bondage for as many as 13 years. In the midst of this slavery, Genesis tells us the following, “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” Everything Joseph touched in his master's house prospered — that sounds like great blessing, right? It is, but consider what blessing we all would be praying for if in slavery — not to be the best slave, but to be freed from slavery! But we see that, while God was perfectly capable of freeing him (as He did in Exodus with a far greater number of Israelites), God’s blessings in this stage of Joseph’s life were that God was close to him and helping him succeed in the plans God had for him, not Joseph's own plans. It’s in this story we can see what blessings truly are: the kindness and closeness of God that enables us to live the lives God has marked out for us. In a world that views good things as the things that satisfy our flesh, it is important to remember that God does not bless us solely with the things of the flesh. While He certainly can, and does, the absence of fleshly satisfaction does not mean the absence of God’s favor and presence. Today, consider the kindnesses God has blessed you with, especially those during life’s hardest times.
“ The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” — Genesis 39:2