God with us

God with us – a sermon on Genesis 39 by Rev. Andrew de Vries and read by Br. Richard de Vries.

Where is the LORD when I need him most? It’s the question that many of us ask when we face adversity. When you’re suffering from a depression so deep and dark that you feel there is no way out. When family life is full of repeated sickness and visits to the hospital and it’s the same routine over and over. When life seems to be spiralling out of control, it’s the natural question. Where is the Lord? Maybe that’s your question today? Where is God when I need Him most. Has He abandoned me?

It’s certainly a question Joseph would likely have had to wrestle with. Remember that in chapter 37 we were introduced to the very dysfunctional family of Jacob and his sons. The hatred of 10 older men for their younger brother leads to his sale to some travelling slave traders. Next, we were taken on a detour by the author of Genesis. We were introduced to the rather unsavoury character of Judah and we see the amazing way how God incorporates even Judah in His plans to bring His redeemer Jesus Christ into the world. But now the narrative moves back to Joseph’s trials and sufferings. He’s apart from his beloved father. He’s far from the land of Canaan, his home. He’s in the vulnerable position of being sold as a slave. He would have endured the humiliation of being poked and prodded on the slave market floor. He’s been sold as a slave, and there is a big question mark over his future. He’s all alone in this foreign, pagan culture. But he’s not alone is he? Because the text tells us, the LORD is with him. Wherever he goes, the LORD is with him.