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"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

The LORD was with Joseph

The LORD was with Joseph Genesis 39:2

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of Joseph, how he wore a special coat (if not a technicolour dream coat!), how he was sold by his brothers, taken as a slave to Egypt, how he served in the Pharaoh’s court, was then wrongly imprisoned and finally released to become prime minister of Egypt.

Four times in Genesis 39 we read the phrase: “The LORD was with Joseph”. Our instant reaction may be to find that strange that a man whose life was a nightmare is described as having the LORD with him.

The three of the four statements are:

The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered (verse2)
His master saw the LORD was with Joseph (verse 3)
The LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did (verse 23)

The passage also explicitly says that the LORD was with Joseph in prison. That is important because the three statements I have just quoted refer to God’s presence and blessing leading to success.

Sometimes you hear an athlete say, “The LORD was with me and I won the competition… I broke the world record…scored the winning goal/basket/touchdown”. I rejoice when I hear athletes acknowledging the LORD’s presence in their sporting successes. At the same time – like Joseph in prison – we need to recognise that the LORD was with us when we dropped the ball, missed the easy shot, false started, hit the ninth hurdle when leading the race or when our hamstring went at a vital stage of the season.

The LORD’s promise to Joseph, to be with him, is just as true for us today. Sometimes we will prosper. Other times, life will be unbearably tough and disappointing. But we need to remember equally in those moments that the LORD is with us.

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