Cast down into darkness, the pain of his wounds was nothing compared to the anguish of his heart. He grieved for his lost relationship with his master, whom he had loved and served faithfully, these many years, since he was sold into captivity. “O Adonai,” Joseph wept. “How could my master, Potiphar believe the wicked lies of that woman? Yes, she is his wife, but he knows what she is like! How could he believe such a thing of me? You know, O Adonai that I was not even tempted by her wicked ways. Indeed, I was repulsed by her.”
He remained in the place where he had been cast down for only the Almighty knows how long, but eventually, Joseph lifted his head from the cold and dank floor, looking around in the darkness of his new abode. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw the forms of others, imprisoned with him. Some laughed and jested, using epithets, while others withdrew into themselves, staring blankly into space, neither seeing or hearing what went on around them. Joseph shuddered.
“‘Elyon, You are the Most High God,” Joseph whispered softly. “And it is in Your shelter, under Your wings that I dwell. I will say of You, Adonai, that You are my refuge and my fortress, my God! In You, I will trust. You will rescue me from the trap of the hunter and the plague of calamities. You cover me with Your pinions, and under Your wings I am sheltered. Indeed, Your truth is my shield and protector.”
Joseph’s head snapped around to the noise of raucous laughter, as some of his fellow inmates kicked and bullied another, weaker prisoner, who tried to cover his head and his sides with his hands and arms, curling into a ball, to protect his vital parts. Eyes snapping, Joseph arose to his full height, glaring down at the man’s tormentors. “Enough!” he spoke with all of the authority he had been given by ‘Elyon. “Get away from this man immediately. You will not torment him while I am here.”
The bullies looked up at Joseph, standing above them, so strong and mighty. Then, without argument, they backed down. He had spoken to them with such power, that none, not even the biggest bully dared to cross him. Joseph, whispered his thanks to Adonai, as he knelt down to the man, who was still curled up in a ball. Gently, he checked his wounds, ripping his own clothing, to bind the worst of them up. The man thanked him profusely, and watched and listened, as Joseph continued to pray.
“I will not fear the terrors of night or the arrow that flies by day, or the plague that roams in the dark, or the scourge that wreaks havoc at noon. A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand; but it won’t come near me. I will keep my eyes open, and I will see how the wicked are punished.”
“Who is this god that you pray to?” the man asked Joseph. “You speak to Him so familiarly, as though you knew Him. Is He not offended, as other gods are, when you speak to him in such a personal way?”
Joseph smiled gently at the man. “No, my friend. My God is not offended. He is the God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the living God, the only true God. Indeed, if you will makeAdonai, the Most High, who is my refuge, your dwelling-place, no disaster will happen to you, no calamity will come near your tent; for He will order His angels to care for you and guard you wherever you go. They will carry you in their hands, so that you won’t trip on a stone. Indeed, you will tread down lions and snakes, young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.
“Because I love Him, He will rescue me; because I know His name, He will protect me. I will call on Him, and He will answer me. He will be with me when I am in trouble. He will extricate me and bring me honor. He will satisfy me with long life and show me His salvation. He will do the same for you, my friend, if you will make Him your dwelling place.”
The entire prison had fallen silent, when Joseph shared this good news with his fellow inmate. Now, many began to question Joseph about his God, even the warden, who had come to see why the prison had become so calm and quiet. It was clear to Joseph that God had a plan for him, even in this dark and dirty place, and with his face set like flint, he spoke silently to God in his heart, “Yes Lord. I will follow You and obey You, even in the darkest of prisons.”
Because of his love and obedience, the Lord was with Joseph, and showered him with His faithful love. Joseph became the warden’s favorite that day, when he brought God’s peace into the often violent prison, and before long, he put Joseph in charge over all the prisoners, and everything that happened in prison. Indeed, because the Lord continued to shower His love on Joseph, and the prison now ran so smoothly, the warden no longer had any worries…
Beloved, even in the midst of prison, Joseph was able to not only find peace, but to thrive, because he understood that His dwelling place was in the shelter of ‘Elyon, the Most High God, not the prison where he currently resided. Where is your dwelling place? No matter where you reside, you, too, can have peace that passes all understanding and even thrive, as long as you dwell in the shelter of the Most High God…
Cheryl A. Showers
1 You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon,
who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai,
2 who say to Adonai, “My refuge! My fortress!
My God, in whom I trust!” —
3 He will rescue you from the trap of the hunter
and from the plague of calamities;
4 He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His truth is a shield and protection.
5 You will not fear the terrors of night
or the arrow that flies by day,
6 or the plague that roams in the dark,
or the scourge that wreaks havoc at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand;
but it won’t come near you.
8 Only keep your eyes open,
and you will see how the wicked are punished.
9 For you have made Adonai, the Most High,
who is my refuge, your dwelling-place.
10 No disaster will happen to you,
no calamity will come near your tent;
11 for He will order His angels to care for you
and guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands,
so that you won’t trip on a stone.
13 You will tread down lions and snakes,
young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he loves me, I will rescue him;
because he knows my name, I will protect him.
15 He will call on Me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble.
I will extricate him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life
and show him my salvation.”