I love how this separates God’s presence from success and his absence from failure. How many of us need to shed the circumstantial “god” for the reality of Christ. — Jason
Readers’ Choice (Originally published February 8, 2017)
Since the Lord was with him there he was comforted; it would be infinitely better to be there with God than on the throne of Pharaoh without God.
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Scripture: Genesis 41.14
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit.
Reflection: The Lord Be With You
By Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Scripture frequently sums up a man’s life in a single sentence. Here is the biography of Joseph sketched by inspiration: “God was with him”—so Stephen testified in his famous speech recorded in Acts.
Observe, however, that the portraits of Scripture give us not only the outer, but the inner life of the man. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks upon the heart; and so the Scriptural descriptions of men are not of their visible life alone, but of their spiritual life. Here we have Joseph as God saw him, the real Joseph.
Externally it did not always appear that God was with him, for he did not always seem to be a prosperous man; but when you come to look into the inmost soul of this servant of God, you see his true likeness—he lived in communion with the Most High, and God blessed him.
Furthermore, “The Lord was with Joseph,” but it did not screen him from temptation of the worst kind: it did not prevent his mistress casting her wicked eyes upon him. The best of men may be tempted to the worst of crimes.
The presence of God did not screen him from slander: the base woman accused him of outrageous wickedness, and God permitted Potiphar to believe her. You and I would have said, “If the Lord be with us how can this evil happen to us?” Ah, but the Lord was with him, and yet he was a slandered man.
The divine presence did not screen him from pain: he sat in prison wearing fetters till the iron entered into his soul, and yet “The Lord was with him.” That presence did not save him from disappointment. He said to the butler, “Think of me when it is well with thee”; but the butler altogether forgot him.
Everything may seem to go against you, and yet God may be with you. The Lord does not promise you that you shall have what looks like prosperity, but you shall have what is real prosperity in the best sense.
*Abridged and language updated from A Miniature Portrait Of Joseph by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
The Request for Presence
Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.