Why was Joseph Prosperous as a Slave?


Natural and Physical Realm

Which One Should We Choose?

A Church in Poverty But Yet Prosperous


And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

When Joseph, the son of Jacob was sold to Egypt by his brothers, he worked as a slave in the house of an Egyptian named Potiphar. However, contrary to the expectations on "slaves" by most people, Joseph was described as "prosperous" in the Bible!


So, how can a slave be prosperous?


Natural and Spiritual Realm


The Bible often compares the natural and the spiritual realm. Prosperity in the Natural Realm means eating and drinking, and all kinds of physical pleasures; but Prosperity in the Spiritual Realm on the other hand, is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

So obviously, even though Joseph was working as a slave, he must be full of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit!


Which One Should We Choose?


The Bible has told us many times that the physical world we now experience is short lived, but the spiritual realm is eternal. Which one a person chooses often indicates how much he believes in God's Words.

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2Cor 4:18

In the story of Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man who devoted all his time and energy in building wealth ends up in eternal torment. On the other hand, poor beggar Lazarus was carried by the angels to receive eternal bliss.


In many aspects, these two realms work almost contradictory to each other. If we truly believe in the Bible, are we willing to sacrifice our inner peace for physical rewards by cheating, telling lies, or anything that is contrary to God's righteousness?


A Church in Poverty But Yet Prosperous


In the Book of Revelations, we see another Church which is like Joseph, in poverty and yet rich in God's eyes. Their reward is a crown of (eternal) life.

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write ..... I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) ..... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life ..... He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. Rev 2:8-11