Prison Smells

I’m not going to pretend I know what an Egyptian prison in the 15th century B.C. smelled like. But I’m going to guess it wasn’t good. And there Joseph sat (Gen. 39:20) in much different circumstances than he knew as the prized son of Jacob (Gen. 37:3). Joseph found prominence and influence, but the kind of status that still put him among the stench of an Egyptian prison. 

Life wasn’t supposed to go that way for Joseph. Favorite sons aren’t supposed to end up in Egyptian prisons. 

Then there were two fellow prisoners with strange dreams. Joseph didn’t have the power in himself to interpret dreams but his God could. And so Joseph correctly interpreted the dreams—to the prominence of one man and the hanging of the other. 

The prisoner who rose back into political prominence had Pharaoh’s ear and the chance to help Joseph but didn’t. A slip of the memory. Release from prison can do that. He forgot about Joseph until one day Pharaoh had a strange dream. It is in that scenario that God made way for Joseph to be second in command in Egypt and ultimately rescue a nation and his treasonous family from famine. 

That is how trust works. You really can’t trust in your circumstances. Because, well, sometimes they smell like Egyptian prisons. And, to be honest, they usually don’t end up as Vice President of Egypt. But Joseph knew the almighty God. His trust was in his God who was faithful in dungeons and Pharaoh’s court. 

There would come another day when a favorite son would have to trust in the care of his heavenly Father, God Almighty, in the midst of horrific circumstances. His trust was firm; his God was faithful. And that is the Jesus we follow. It is through that Jesus that we have come to know God as our God, through faith in that Christ. 

Know that your circumstances can’t bear the weight of your trust.

But God can. Trust in him.


  1. Potluck - This Sunday, February 12 we'll eat together after service. 
  2. New Members Class - Our next new members class is coming up. Let me know if you're interested.