The Favor and Kindness of God

“Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”—Genesis 39:20–23 (NIV)

As a young prisoner, Joseph earned the respect, admiration, and affection of the warden. Consider this . . . Joseph was in prison and labelled a criminal because he was accused of trying to rape his master’s wife, a crime that should’ve made him untrustworthy in everyone’s eyes, yet he was fully trusted and respected. The Bible says God brought him into favor with the warden who extended kindness and affection toward Joseph.

The Cambridge Bible Schools and Colleges commentators so eloquently declared, “The favor of Jehovah towards Joseph is the cause of Joseph’s acceptability with the keeper of the prison.” Did you catch that? It’s almost like deja-vu from a few days ago, right? Joseph was put in an awful situation, but the Lord was with him, granted him favor with the authority over him, and gave him success. Just as God had done with Potiphar, He’s doing it again with the prison warden.

There’s no more amazing, comforting, emboldening, perspective-shifting expression than this: “The Lord was with him.” Think about it: Whether you’re in prison, being persecuted, lost your job, aren’t healthy, the Lord is with you!

Romans 8:31–37 (NIV), says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

If the Lord is with us, we can rest with confidence and peace. We don’t have to walk in fear, bitterness, or discouragement regarding our present standing or current situation. If the Lord is with us, we can endure anything, “because greater is He who is in [us] than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 BSB).

As believers, the Lord is with us through everything. And not only that, but when we honor and trust Him, living with conviction and working out our salvation (Philippians 2:12), He can and will bring us into favor with others and draw others to Himself through us. And so, we can say, BECAUSE the Lord is with us, pouring His love, favor, and power in and through us, we can do the work He’s called us to as He “works in [us] to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).

DIG: Why did Joseph gain the favor and respect of the warden?

DISCOVER: How have you seen this true in your life? How has God shown His favor over you and given your favor in the lives of others, even in difficult circumstances?

DO: Thank the Lord for His kindness and favor today—for the loving-kindness and mercy you receive from Him through Jesus Christ!