1. The Midas Touch 

Joseph’s master “saw” something; a Something that made that servant “a prosperous man.”  Yes, servants may also carry a presence; a negative or positive presence; and servants need not be masters before they prosper.  There can be prospering servants as there can be prospering masters; there are enabling servants, and there disabling servants; carrier-servants who leave their masters worse than they had met them.

God made “all that he did” to prosper.  A supernatural Force oversaw Joseph’s natural activities to ensure uncommon success.  It didn’t matter what he did.  It didn’t matter how ordinary it seemed.  Even if it was menial – such as selling cheap trinkets or cleaning putrid gutters, God blessed it, and he prospered.  The blessing was so plain that “his master saw” it.  In his grandfather’s case, even the haters saw it, envied him for it, fought it, but couldn’t stop it (Genesis 26:3-4, 12-25).

Unlike the haters of Grandpa Isaac, when Mr Potiphar noticed that strangeness about Joseph, he proceeded to take prompt advantage of the favour, and promoted the new young staff as “overseer … over ALL that he had.”   Who in their right senses wouldn’t?  When Joseph thus took charge of all, the Presence that followed him compensated his boss more, and “the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.”

Joseph had the proverbial Midas touch, so that whatever he touched turned to gold, in the house and abroad.  He carried a prospering Presence, even into prison (Genesis 39:21-23).  Good management principles are important, but the personality of the manager is crucial.

Joseph had a Midas touch.  Whatever he touched prospered.  The opposite is also possible, of people that carry a strange presence, who kill whatever they touch.  Put them over a farm, the crops die.  Make them president of a prospering nation, the nation dies.  Let them into a ship on a calm sea, a storm breaks out.  Give them the pulpit for just one sermon, and it will take a decade for the church to recover.  Marry them, and you marry trouble.  In this season, may our God save us and our land from such killers and their cursed hands, in Jesus name, amen.

  1.  A Presence in Prison 

With reference to Joseph’s false accusation and unfortunate imprisonment in Egypt, one might ask, if the Presence that followed him were so powerful and so benevolent, why did it let him to be grossly falsely accused, be thrown into prison, then follow him, as if powerlessly, into that reprehensible place to be ‘with’ him there?  The answer is simple.  The all-knowing Presence knew that that apparently wrong place in Egypt was going to be Joseph’s crucial connection to his right place in destiny.  In other words, the Presence might not always give ice creams and Christmas parties, but It will surely bring a blessedness.  The path to the Table of bounties that the Good Shepherd prepares in the presence of enemies sometimes passes through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4-5).

“Go … and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).  There is a blissful Presence that knows no boundaries; a perpetual Presence, “always, to the end of the age” (Good News Translation).  May that Presence be your portion ever.  Amen (Revelation 3:20).

  1.  Locational Activations 

While Jacob was back home in Canaan, the impact of that Presence did not seem so evident.  Only in faraway Padanaram, in the household and business empire of wicked Uncle Laban, did we hear of it from the lips of his hard boss, not from the mouth of a holy seer.  With Abraham also, in faraway Egypt and Gerar, What followed him spoke loudly in his defence against those that would take advantage of the sojourner, in ways that had not been so apparent until then.

It was while Joseph was in Egypt that we hear about the blessed Presence that followed him, in ways that we didn’t hear of It while he was still in his father’s house.  Did it sometimes have to take oppositions and the ‘darkness’ of a foreign land to amplify that Presence?  Do presences sometimes seem more or less evident in particular contexts and locations than in others?

  1. The Jonah Factor 

This mystery of presences is true in the positive and negative sense.  Unlike Joseph, an evil presence follows some people, so that whatever they touch dies, and wherever they enter gets endangered.  Their hosts and masters sometimes learn too late, “by experience.”

They are like Jonah.  If they get into your ship, their presence attracts a tempest even on the calmest seas on the calmest days in the best of boats.  The sea-worthiness of a ship usually ceases to matter where they get, and trusted weather forecasts suddenly go awry too (Jonah 1:1-16).  They are like the outwardly princely but innately deadly seed of Ahab and Jezebel.  Even if you were a worshipful Jehoshaphat on the blessed throne of David, when they partner with you, their partnership provokes instant curses and destructive tornedos that cripple costly investments (2 Chronicles 20:35-37).

They are like Achan.  If you recruited them into your victorious army, you were sure to lose battles even with the best of fighters and the best of weapons.  You were sure to suffer painful losses even to the weakest enemies (Joshua 7:1-26).  How true then when the Scripture says, “The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked [even if the house were built of marble and glistening stolen gold]: but he blesseth the habitation of the just” – even if the habitation were made of mud and simple grass (Proverbs 2:33). Some looks are a lie.

Something follows everyone; or everyone attracts something; something that might be felt to a greater or lesser degree at particular times in particular places.  The Presence might be significant, very significant, or insignificant, but it is often there (Matthew 18:10).  Some women enter a place and at once an atmosphere of lust is activated in every man who sets his gaze on them.  They carry something.  The blessed Charles G. Finney and Cathryn Kuhlman of the famed American Awakenings were said to enter a place and, without saying a word, everyone began to tremble under the power of divine presence, and started to repent of sins.  A Something followed them “in all places” wither they went.

Something followed Jacob into Padanaram; something followed Joseph into Egypt; a ‘something’ called Salvation followed Jesus into the house of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:9); something leprous followed the glimmering diplomatic gifts of Naaman into the house and destiny of the heedless and greedy Gehazi (2 Kings 5:15-16, 26-27); an ‘international’ dark force followed pretty princess Jezebel from ‘abroad’ in her United Kingdom of Sidon into hometown Israel – something ‘foreign’ that was forever to change the spiritual topography of the land and the throne that received her (1 Kings 16:31); something that seemed to have assured her also, “I am with thee … in ALL PLACES whither thou goest.” 

From The Preacher’s diary,
October 10, 2022. 

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