The Palace Test

Every person will go through a character test in order to reach their destiny. The first test was the pride test and then we looked at the pit test. This is the study of the palace test concerning Joseph.

Genesis 39:1 – Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, and Egyptian bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. (Verse 2) The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man, and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

(Verse 3) And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. (Verse 4) So Joseph found favor in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put in his hand. (Verse 5) So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake, and the blessings of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

(Verse 6) So he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. And Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Joseph is second in command and is in charge of everything. How would that feel to be successful in everything we do? There are certain “keys” to being prosperous and successful in everything we put our hands to:

(1) The key to prospering is the presence of the Lord.

Even in these verses, it says many times, “The Lord was with Joseph.” Prosperity is not a bad thing! Yes, there is a “hyper prosperity” teaching that cannot be supported by Scripture and it is wrong. But what is the Biblical understanding of the word prosper? God wants to prosper us not only in our finances but in every area of our lives so that we can prosper others? He wants to bless us so that we can be a blessing to other people.

In Hebrew, prosperity means “to push forward.” Wouldn’t you love to have a God that never fails, pushing you into success? So, if we walk with the presence of the Lord, we will prosper. It’s not that God removes His presence, people walk away when they think they know better. But look what happens for those who stay in His presence:

Genesis 26:12 – Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the LORD blessed him. (Verse 13) The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous;

Deuteronomy 29:9 – “Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. 

3 John 2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Even the unbeliever, Potiphar, recognized that his house was blessed because the Lord was with Joseph.

(2) The key to the presence of the Lord is obedience.

2 Chronicles 17:3 – Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his father Daved; he did not seek the Baals (false gods), (Verse 4) but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.

1 Samuel 18:14 – And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him. 

We know that David didn’t do everything right, but when he did mess up, he repented!

1 Samuel 18:12 – Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul. So why was the Lord with David? Because he obeyed. And why had the Lord departed from Saul? Because he disobeyed.

Deuteronomy 11:26 – “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: (Verse 27) “the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; (Verse 28) “and the curse if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Do you see that it is our choice?

Now, this doesn’t mean that we’ll never have hardships or never go through a storm. It means God will take you through those storms successfully!

Job 36:11 – “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. (Verse 12) But if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.”

Proverbs 28:13 – He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

(3) The key to obedience is faith.

A farmer plants because he believes he is going to receive a reward. The problem with most though, is that people don’t believe that if they are obedient there are rewards and if they don’t obey there are consequences to disobedience. If everyone believed that, we all would obey! Too many believe that they can disobey and get away with it! We have to believe that if we are faithful where we are, we will be rewarded. However, if we’re not faithful where we are, why would God give us more?

Colossians 3:22 – Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. (Verse 23) And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men, (Verse 24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Verse 25) But he who does wrong will be repaid for the wrong which he has done, and there is no partiality.

Hebrews 3:18 – And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? (Verse 19) So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Faith produces obedience! If they had believed that God would reward them, then they would have obeyed! But they disobeyed because they didn’t believe  – unbelief! So the key to prospering is the presence of the Lord. The key to the presence of the Lord is obedience. The key to obedience is faith. So what’s the key to faith?

(4) The key to faith is hearing the Word.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

I hear people say, “I wish I had more faith to believe that, whatever.” Well, how much of God’s word do they hear, listen to? How much time do they really spend in the word of God? Most people that  I hear say that, never open their Bibles. They rely on the little bit of what they’ve heard others say miss quoting Scripture! The word has the power to change our lives. God’s word will never return void of what He sent it out to accomplish and what He sent it to do. Hear, believe, and obey. It’s that simple!