God Is Present in Dark Times

  • June 23, 2017
Friday 23

Genesis 39:1-23

In this day of instant news, we regularly see images of calamity in our world. And on a personal level, we experience seasons of hardship as well. The same is true of friends and family who encounter job layoffs, marital troubles, difficulties with children, and other challenges.

As Christians, we have a heavenly Father who has promised to be with us in our struggles. We can rely on Him—He knows what will happen before we do; nothing is hidden from His sight (Heb. 4:13). He sees in the darkness of troubled times as clearly as He does in the daylight (Psalm 139:11-12). Through His Spirit, He offers us the comfort, strength, and wisdom to persevere.

The story of Joseph illustrates this truth. After being rejected and sold into slavery by his brothers, he was falsely accused by his master’s wife and imprisoned. But in the midst of those terrible times, the young Hebrew man experienced God’s presence and favor.

I doubt Joseph comprehended the Lord’s intentions during his slavery and imprisonment. But later on, as second-in-command to Pharaoh, he understood God’s purpose in allowing those difficult years. In the end, Joseph testified to what he knew to be true. His brothers had meant to harm him, but God used all the hardship to accomplish His good plan (Gen. 45:4-8; Gen. 50:20).

When troubles hit, remember what is true and take heart. The indwelling Holy Spirit has the resources to provide what we need, equip us for the journey, and sustain us with His presence throughout the dark days. Nothing can stop the purposes of our Lord from being carried out (Isa. 14:27).

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What happens to my notes

1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.

2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.

3 Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.

4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.

5 It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field.

6 So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

7 It came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, Lie with me."

8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.

9 There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?"

10 As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.

11 Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.

12 She caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.

13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,

14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed.

15 When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside."

16 So she left his garment beside her until his master came home.

17 Then she spoke to him with these words, The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me;

18 and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside."

19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, This is what your slave did to me," his anger burned.

20 So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.

21 But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.

22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it.

23 The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,"

12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.

5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.

6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.

7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.

8 Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

27 For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"

1 God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us-- Selah.

2 That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth. Selah.

5 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.

6 The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.

7 God blesses us, That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

1 Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him.

2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish before God.

3 But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God; Yes, let them rejoice with gladness.

4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.

5 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.

6 God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

7 O God, when You went forth before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah.

8 The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

9 You shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched.

10 Your creatures settled in it; You provided in Your goodness for the poor, O God.

11 The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host:

12 Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!"

13 When you lie down among the sheepfolds, You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And its pinions with glistening gold.

14 When the Almighty scattered the kings there, It was snowing in Zalmon.

15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.

16 Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks, At the mountain which God has desired for His abode? Surely the LORD will dwell there forever.

17 The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

18 You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.

19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah.

20 God is to us a God of deliverances; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

21 Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies, The hairy crown of him who goes on in his guilty deeds.

22 The Lord said, I will bring them back from Bashan. I will bring them back from the depths of the sea;

23 That your foot may shatter them in blood, The tongue of your dogs may have its portion from your enemies."

24 They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

25 The singers went on, the musicians after them, In the midst of the maidens beating tambourines.

26 Bless God in the congregations, Even the LORD, you who are of the fountain of Israel.

27 There is Benjamin, the youngest, ruling them, The princes of Judah in their throng, The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

28 Your God has commanded your strength; Show Yourself strong, O God, who have acted on our behalf.

29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem Kings will bring gifts to You.

30 Rebuke the beasts in the reeds, The herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples, Trampling under foot the pieces of silver; He has scattered the peoples who delight in war.

31 Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.

32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Sing praises to the Lord, Selah.

33 To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.

34 Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel And His strength is in the skies.

35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!

1 Save me, O God, For the waters have threatened my life.

2 I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.

3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; What I did not steal, I then have to restore.

5 O God, it is You who knows my folly, And my wrongs are not hidden from You.

6 May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; May those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel,

7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Dishonor has covered my face.

8 I have become estranged from my brothers And an alien to my mother's sons.

9 For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

10 When I wept in my soul with fasting, It became my reproach.

11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.

12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me, And I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth.

14 Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters.

15 May the flood of water not overflow me Nor the deep swallow me up, Nor the pit shut its mouth on me.

16 Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; According to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me,

17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant, For I am in distress; answer me quickly.

18 Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom me because of my enemies!

19 You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor; All my adversaries are before You.

20 Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, And for comforters, but I found none.

21 They also gave me gall for my food And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

22 May their table before them become a snare; And when they are in peace, may it become a trap.

23 May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, And make their loins shake continually.

24 Pour out Your indignation on them, And may Your burning anger overtake them.

25 May their camp be desolate; May none dwell in their tents.

26 For they have persecuted him whom You Yourself have smitten, And they tell of the pain of those whom You have wounded.

27 Add iniquity to their iniquity, And may they not come into Your righteousness.

28 May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

29 But I am afflicted and in pain; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.

30 I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.

31 And it will please the LORD better than an ox Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.

32 The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God, let your heart revive.

33 For the LORD hears the needy And does not despise His who are prisoners.

34 Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them.

35 For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, That they may dwell there and possess it.

36 The descendants of His servants will inherit it, And those who love His name will dwell in it.

1 O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my help!

2 Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.

3 Let those be turned back because of their shame Who say, Aha, aha!"

4 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, Let God be magnified."

5 But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

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Publish Date June 23, 2017
God Is Present in Dark Times

Before we can understand God’s plan for our suffering, He often wants us to trust that He’s working all things for good.

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