Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time we were brought in, that he might seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys."
The brothers were held in fear that resulted from their heinous treatment of their younger brother Joseph. Though years had gone by, their consciences were riddled by guilt and condemnation, their minds imagining the worst. God's word tells us in 1 John, that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear." And "We love because He first loved us." As we all have sinned, it's good for us to remember "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
And he named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
Nary a word or indication of any complaint by the young Jewish lad as he was taken captive by his brothers, then sold into slavery and thrown into prison. Yet now in this one verse, the story of the years of hardship is revealed. Joseph all along went with God’s plans and purpose, not questioning the Lord. Now second only to the pharaoh of Egypt, a glimpse of what went on through the years, and what the Lord had done in this mans life. A life of surrender to God would mean salvation for his family and many of the families of the world. Oh what the Lord can do through a life surrendered to Him.
“But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.”
Joseph, waylaid by his brothers, sold into slavery two times over, than accused of sexually battery and jailed, still found favor with God. It seemed that all the bad that had happened to him was continually deflected by Gods grace and mercy. Not a word of complaint from Joseph, but only a willingness to move forward with the plans of the Lord. Even in lockup, he was made to prosper, or succeed by Gods blessing, as he would give glory to Him.Big lesson for us, as we are so prone to complain and question rather then give praise with thanksgiving. How do you react to the tough and scary times? I hope we are all are much like Joseph, going with the flow of the Spirit and seeing what God has.