21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
I love the opening passage in today’s verses, that the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy. Here he is at the lowest point of his story, but he is not alone. This is a common theme in the stories of the patriarchs: that they are alone in a wild or dangerous place, with no one for their companion but God.
It is often said that the travesties that befell Joseph were all part of God’s plans, and even Joseph will later tell his brethren to not be angry with themselves, because God was sending him to preserve life all along. And while this is true, I believe it is worth noting that God being present in the process is not the same as saying that God threw him into the well or God cast him into prison. Those were evil actions, and it was evil men and women who did those things, not God. What God did was to be with Joseph in those low points and miraculously turn them into something good.
In verses 22 and 23 we hear a description of Joseph coming into the full trust of the keeper of the prison and having the entire operation put into his hands. It is identical to what we heard of Joseph earlier when he came to manage the entire estate of Potiphar. This is the second of the three-part repetition on this theme, and so it would seem there was no situation so low that Joseph couldn’t flourish in it.