“Overcoming Being Treated Unfairly” Genesis 39:13-23
Dr. Gary M. Barker
A saying often stated and true is: “Life is Unfair”. In many circumstances that we experience we believe that life has treated us unfairly. This is one of the greatest trials that causes us to have sincere sadness and disappointment. This is especially true when our mistreatment is caused by being slandered. Being lied against and being unfairly punished is a very difficult trauma to endure. This is exactly what happened to the patriarch Joseph. In our last meditation, we learned that Joseph was falsely accused of attempting to rape his master’s wife (Genesis 39:1-20). In righteousness, Joseph refused to have anything to do with Potiphar’s wife yet he was slandered and his master believed his wife’s lies and severely punished Joseph. Potiphar could have had Joseph executed but he chose to put him into prison. Joseph’s life and circumstances drastically changed. He went from living in a comfortable environment as the prosperous steward of Potiphar’s estate, to living in an uncomfortable and hostile environment as a prisoner. I’m positive that Joseph must have been suffering emotionally as he thought about being severely punished when he was both innocent and righteous. In times like these, it is a common reaction to ask the big question: “Why God?” How did Joseph overcome this trial and deal with this perplexing and unanswered question in his heart? In Genesis 39:21 we have the answer: “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the Keeper of the prison.” God’s presence comforted and encouraged Joseph and God’s mercy caused him to experience God’s blessing in his new environment. This is the key to enduring difficult trials: THE PRESENCE of GOD. We also know that God had a special reason for putting Joseph into prison. God wanted him to meet a fellow prisoner that would help Joseph get out of prison. Joseph didn’t learn about this for several years.
Lessons to Be Learned.
- Believers need to EXPECT to be unfairly treated in this fallen and sinful world. This is having a realistic perspective of life.
- God controls all the circumstances that occur in a believer’s life. He has good reasons for all the trials that He allows to come into our lives.
- God’s presence and power will give us endurance to mature thru trials without getting bitter and hateful toward those that mistreat or abuse us. God’ presence always manifests God’s Power: Ephesians 3:20.