The story of Joseph, the teenage dreamer, in the book of Genesis is perhaps one of the most dramatic stories in all the Bible. It is full of intrigue and contains a plot that twists and turns its way to a beautiful ending. The Joseph Journey takes one from youthful zeal and dreams of greatness to despair, disappointment, and betrayal. The Joseph Journey starts with a seventeen-year-old boy and ends with a man who sits as a ruler and prince over all the known world of his day. God used every trial and tribulation that the enemy put Joseph through as part of his preparation and positioning for him to rule and reign.
In Genesis chapter 39 we see Joseph falsely accused and cast into prison. And all because Joseph was faithful to his master. He was helpless with no one to come to his aid. But God was there with Joseph.
“But Yahweh was with Joseph and demonstrated to him his faithful love by giving him great favor in the sight of the warden. The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care; he was placed in charge of all the prisoners and everything in the prison. The warden had no worries about the prison with Joseph in charge, because Yahweh’s presence was with Joseph and caused everything Joseph did to prosper.”Genesis 39:21–23 TPT
Can you imagine what it would be like to be thrown into prison for something you never did? Consider what prison life would be like. The conditions would most likely have been harsh, with little food and water, as well as continual physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual suffering for most of the prisoners. Yet God was with Joseph in his confinement. Heaven’s favor and kindness were evident, for Joseph was given the responsibility over everything that happened in the prison. Here are some likely duties that Joseph would attend to:
- Food preparation (if one was fortunate enough to eat)
- Cleaning up
- Emptying and cleaning the latrines
- Tending the wounds of prisoners
- Caring for sick prisoners
- Dealing with infestations of rats, lice, other insects, and rodents
- Watching over vulnerable prisoners
- Maintaining order and peace
- Keeping corruption at bay
- Dealing with death
- Ministering to the brokenhearted and the lonely
The Priority of People
God taught Joseph the priority of people before programs. He had to learn what it means to be his brother’s keeper. A heart of compassion began to form while Joseph was in confinement. In the place of God’s built-in destiny delay, Joseph embraced the depths of the Father’s compassion for others. The lessons he learned of humility, wisdom, and love became the basis of his promotion. No doubt, there were days that Joseph struggled with the plans of God for his life, just as we do. But he remembered and persevered in his sonship regardless of his circumstances. God used the prison cell as the perfect crucible for his love to form in Joseph’s heart.
Also, Joseph learned the heart of a servant in prison. It was crucial in his preparation, for he would one day be entrusted with so much power and influence. God chose to allow him to face confinement in a prison to teach him this lesson. He had the opportunity to show tender compassion to the other prisoners who were placed in his charge.
While in the dungeon, Joseph’s anointing grew and grew. The iron of the shackles entered his soul and made him stronger. He was put in charge over all that was done in the prison house. Even in a prison, the most unlikely place, Joseph shined like a star. Even the prison warden recognized the extraordinary character of young Joseph. He was prospering again.
Psalm 119:71 says, “The punishment you brought me through was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me your ways.” Joseph is starting all over. This time it was at the bottom of an Egyptian dungeon. The prison was a school for Joseph, a place to build character, although unseen by others and forgotten.
Like Joseph, your life, with its setbacks and limitations, is being uniquely prepared for God’s purposes. It seems impossible that your problems will be the source of your promotion, but watch over the next few years how God’s presence is with you. Favor will increase and promotion will come as God deals thoroughly with your heart. The higher your calling, the greater your preparation. Get ready, a breakthrough is coming!
“Don’t be afraid…Even though you intended to hurt me, God intended it for good. It was his plan all along, to ensure the survival of many people.”Genesis 50:19-20 TPT
My heavenly Father, you are wise, and you are good. Your plans for my life are the best. I yield my heart to you today for your Spirit to continue to make me like Christ. I give you my limitations and my delays. Your ways are always higher than mine. Give me a heart to follow your ways, no matter where it may lead me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The above was adapted from The Dreamer: The Path of Favor, a biblical commentary on the book of Genesis chapters 36-50. In The Dreamer, Brian and Candice Simmons explore the breathtaking story of Joseph—a man who God prepared for great authority and privilege with a divinely inspired dream. Learn how to grow spiritually through every season of life and gain fresh insight from rich footnotes that include comments, word studies, cross references, and alternate translations.
Discover the power of a dream, the purpose of trials, and the true meaning of forgiveness. Let the spirit of wisdom and revelation uncover God’s plan for you.