I. From prison to palace
II. From forsaken to forgiven
Genesis 41:41-49 41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the
whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and
put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold
chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,
and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the
whole land of Egypt. 44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without
your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the
name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of
On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt. 46 Joseph was
thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And
Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47
During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph
collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and
stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding
it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so
much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
In the name of Jesus Christ, provider of all good things, dear Christian friends,
Distrust. Mistrust. Did you even know these were actual words? Distrust is a
lack of trust based on experience, while mistrust is a lack of trust based on a feeling.
Here is an example of distrust. Hank hires Frank as his right hand man at the
shop. Frank shows up late every day, doesn’t show up some days, fails to meet deadlines
and speaks poorly to others of the workplace. Hank now distrusts Frank as a co-worker.
Here is an example of mistrust. Hank interviews Frank but doesn’t hire him
because he hears something in his voice and sees something in his eyes that just puts up
red flags and convinces him not to offer him a job.
Why all this talk about these two words? Because there is so much of it going on
right now. Many distrust the news media because one day the report is this and the next
day the report is that and they are polar opposites. Many mistrust others simply by
whether they are wearing a mask or not.
Are you a trusting individual? It can be difficult to do these days! But you need
to be! So do I!
We need to trust in God! We need to have 100% confidence in our Creator to
care for us. We need to have faith in our Redeemer to save us. We need to believe in our
Sanctifier to guide us.
TRUST GOD TO PROVIDE FOR YOU AS HE DID JOSEPH
I. From prison to palace
II. From forsaken to forgiven
Today’s Scripture helps us do that. When we hear once again the amazing
account of Jesus’ miracle of feeding more than five thousand people with just five loaves
of bread and two fish— and still have baskets of leftovers— we are encouraged in our
faith to know that God provides. When we hear once again the account of Joseph and his
journey from riches to rags to riches to rags to riches, we are stimulated in our trust in
God to see us through every situation and always work for our good (Ge 50:20; Ro 8:28).
So, my encouragement for you— which is also God’s encouragement for you— is
to continue your trust in God, especially as you deal with your distrust and mistrust of
other individuals in your life. TRUST GOD TO PROVIDE FOR YOU AS HE DID
JOSEPH! I. From prison to palace II. From forsaken to forgiver.
Bible History knowledge varies for all of us so a quick reminder of the life of Old
Testament Joseph is in place. He grew up in a large family of mostly boys and, being
favored by his father (Ge 37:3) and being quite boastful (Ge 37:5-11), he drew the
jealousy of his brothers down on him. After nixing a plan to kill him, they instead
decided to sell him as a slave.
This landed Joseph in Egypt where he became a slave in the home of Potiphar.
Life was good there until Potiphar’s wife came on to Joseph. Her untrue accusation put
Joseph in prison for a few years. In spite of that lack of freedom, lonely existence, and
lowly living conditions, we are told “the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success
in whatever he did” (Ge 39:23).
In prison, God gave Joseph the ability to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh’s
cupbearer and baker and finally of the Pharaoh himself. So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I
hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet
ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine
linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his
second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him
in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh,
but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.”...Joseph was
thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph
went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.
From prison to palace, we never hear of Joseph distrusting or mistrusting God.
He had no reason. God had never stopped caring for him, even though his life was not
the “life of Riley” he may have wanted. God had never stopped loving him or being with
him. God had never removed his promise to save him eternally through the coming
No matter how low things get for us, we can— and we need to— trust God. We
have no reason to stop! He has never stopped caring for us. Remember that when you go
home and look up and see that sturdy roof over your head and when you eat your next
meal and when you change into another set of clothes tomorrow. God has never stopped
loving us or being with us. Remember that when you hear the good news of your
forgiveness and when you offer up your prayers, confident that he is there to answer. He
has never removed his promise to save us. Remember that when you feel lost here in the
confusing and condemning maze of your sin and experience the pain and problems
caused by the sin of this world.
Again, to remind you of the rest of this Bible History account— and to instill in
you a greater desire to trust God— it is good to see how God used this up and down
3 situation to bring Joseph and his brothers back together again. As second-in-command in
Egypt, God provided for Joseph so he could provide for the people. During the seven
years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food
produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In
each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge
quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping
records because it was beyond measure.
After a series of visits from his brothers to get food from Joseph during seven
years of famine, and after several tests from Joseph to identify his brothers’ frame of
mind and heart, Joseph made himself known to his siblings and was able to forgive them
(Gen 45:15). He took God’s forgiveness of his own sins and extended the same to his
Some may say Joseph was able to forgive his brothers only because he was
blessed by God to be in such a prestigious position as Pharaoh’s protégé. When Joseph
was sold as a slave, did he want to forgive his brothers? When Joseph was in prison, was
he willing to forgive his brothers?
Those are good questions for which we don’t have answers, but it helps us to
think about when we are able and willing to forgive. Is it only when things are going
well for us? Follow God’s example who forgives us daily. “Forgive each other, just as
in Christ God forgave you” (Eph 4:32).
Distrust God? How? In your experience, how has he ever failed you? Your
relationship of love with someone else might have broken, your employment at your job
may have been removed, your life may have been turned upside down because of a
pandemic, but God has remained with you, faithful to his promises and worthy of your
Mistrust God? How? When you “look at” God, do you see someone you can not
trust? Do you see shifty eyes? Do you hear insincerity in his voice?
If so, then you are not looking at the same God I am looking at, nor are you
listening to the same voice I am listening to— the voice of his infallible and inerrant Holy
Scriptures. The God of the Bible is kind and compassionate, loving and merciful, honest
Thankfully, he is also forgiving! He saw our sin, our helplessness, our
condemnation and he acted to remove our sin, to give us hope and to grant us forgiveness
by sending his Son Jesus to save us.
You can trust him to provide for you even when it seems your life is in a prison,
as it sometimes feels right now with regulations and requirements and restrictions. You
can trust him to provide for you even when you want to credit yourself for your life of
luxury. You can trust him when you are forsaken by others as it seems to happen
regularly by those who say they love you, but then hurt you. You can trust him who has
forgiven you to enable you to forgive others.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths
straight” (Pr 3:5).