From Prison to Prince: A Redemption Story

Genesis: 41 – Exodus 11

 Every person in the world receives a call to something great. A place in God’s plan that no one else can fill. We get to choose whether or not we follow God’s plan as he reveals it.

Have you been struggling? Do your trials seem to never end? Could it be that those trials are the path to the ultimate fulfillment of His plan? Between your call and your crown, is your cross.

Join us in this amazing third installment of our through the Bible in a Year series.

Opening Welcome: Welcome to our members and visitors, we sure are glad you are here. For those new today, please stay for a free lunch after the sermon – we call it fellowship lunch.

I also want to welcome our friends online and those tuning into 97.7 our local radio station here in Sandpoint, Idaho.

I want to encourage those tuning in online or those who are new to hop onto our website:  

You will discover the many different ministries of the Sandpoint Seventh-day Adventist Church, and also a special challenge we are focusing on in 2024 — Reading, Preaching, and Studying through the Bible in a Year.



Have you ever watched someone from afar and thought to yourself: “Why does everything seem to go right for them?” — It’s the grass is greener in my neighbors yard syndrome… Anyone ever been affected by this syndrome?

It can be so irritating to struggle in life and see others who seem to sail right through —[1] Or worse, we find ourselves watching as someone else is treated with favoritism.  

Our Bible character this morning was just that sort of person to his brothers — His name is Joseph, and his father made no secret, that Joseph was his favorite:

[Gen 37:3 NKJV] 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he [was] the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of [many] colors.

Set Apart, Blessed, Favored above the rest! Living the life, we all desire. Happy, Peaceful, Filled with Joy and Love…. We have to ask ourselves the question why was Joseph blessed and what made his life so happy and successful?

The truth is that wherever you turn in the Joseph story you find a life filled with prosperity, filled with contentment, filled with the blessing of God!

Joseph is blessed with a coat of many colors

Joseph is blessed with dreams that proclaim his future success

Joseph is blessed as a slave

Joseph is blessed as prisoner

Joseph is blessed to become ruler of Egypt


[Psa 1:1-3 NKJV] 1 Blessed [is] the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The First Bible Principle of Blessings: Don’t follow the pattern of evil around you, but stick close to the law of God.

I have been amazed as I’ve listened to different financial planners talk about how systematic giving (like the giving ten percent off our income, as the Bible mentions) has to be part of your overall financial planning if your will succeed. From Dave Ramsey to Toby Matthis, it seems like a golden rule. And then you look at the most successful individuals

Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon) — Pledged $10Billion to the Earth Fund by 2020… Guess how much he made in 2020? — $77 Billion… That’s more than 10% of his income, almost 13%. Did he prosper as a result? In 2023, Jeff Bezos made $177 Billion or about $8million/hr.

Now I’m not suggesting you should give towards the earth fund — I’m speaking in general that when we follow the Bible’s principles, guidelines, and laws we reap the benefits.

[Pro 11:25 NKJV] 25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.

This principle has been followed by the most successful people down through time — A biblical principle.

But it doesn’t just stop there — The Bible gives so many, many, many laws for life. Laws regarding what we eat, how we spend our time, how to manage our relationships and specifically forgiving others who have wronged us.  

In every instance you will find that those who follow God’s laws succeed in the areas those laws govern. Those who follow the practices of the wicked, find that the blessings of God can not be obtained.  

The first record of Joseph in the Bible finds him refusing to walk in the path of sinners at the age of 17.

[Gen 37:2 NKJV] 2 This [is] the history of Jacob. Joseph, [being] seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad [was] with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father.

Now we don’t know what it was that Bilhah’s sons were doing, but the point is that Joseph chose not to participate either in the evil deed or in covering up the dark secret. Joseph was honest, and Here was the first reason for Joseph’s success!

Just in this first verse of Joseph’s life we find:

  1. Joseph was a man of integrity
  2. Joseph was a man of self-control and principle
  3. Joseph had a strong sense of right and wrong
  4. Joseph sought to live a virtuous life — God honoring life

What was the results? — He was honored by His father on earth (The Coat of Many Colors), and honored by His father in heaven (Dreams Given For His Future).

Do  you see that the blessings that attended Joseph’s life were not the result of luck or happenstance? Joseph adopted a life of integrity, and reaped the harvest of integrity. There is a time-tested book written in 1989, that I discovered a few years ago called — “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey. The book makes the case that success is not just about what you do, it’s more about who you are and the principles you adopt to govern your life that lead to success.

When you read the story of Joseph you find a life governed by principles (bible based principles) rather than feelings.

Just imagine how you would have felt or reacted had you been betrayed by your brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold as slave to Ishmaelite traders?

[Gen 37:23-28 NKJV] 23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph [of] his tunic, the tunic of [many] colors that [was] on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit [was] empty; [there was] no water in it. 25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry [them] down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit [is there] if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he [is] our brother [and] our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so [the brothers] pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty [shekels] of silver. And they took Joseph to


What are the feelings that would be going through your mind as you rode those camels to

Egypt far from home? (Raise hand and share an emotion?)

  • Betrayall
  • Anger
  • Depressed
  • Fear
  • Rage
  • Hatred
  • Anxious

Had Joseph consulted, cherished, nurtured those feelings, and made decisions based off of those feelings his entire future life would have been altered. But instead of consulting feelings/ emotions/and irrational thoughts — Joseph followed principles he had learned and let those be his guide.

[Psa 40:4 NKJV] 4 Blessed [is] that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

What does it mean to trust the LORD as a recently sold slave?

[Gen 45:5 NKJV] 5 “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

Do you see, that Joseph trusted that God was still in control of his life — He would not live being bitter, or angry, or depressed, or filled with fear, or hatred, or rage, or anxious about the future… Joseph could move forward uncontrolled by any of these strong emotions, because “He trusted in the Lord”….

Do you trust in the Lord? When you face obstacles, trials, and times when life doesn’t go the way you had expected — Do you look up to heaven believing that your God still leads, that your God is still in control, and that even the darkest trial can be used by God to transform your life?

“Joseph believed that the God of his fathers would be His God… He would serve the Lord with undivided heart; he would meet the trials of his lot with fortitude and perform every duty with fidelity (faithfulness). One days experience had been the turning point in Joseph’s life.” Patriarch’s and Prophets, 213.

[Psa 94:12 NKJV] 12 Blessed [is] the man whom You instruct, O LORD, And teach out of Your law,

[Jas 1:12 NKJV] 12 Blessed [is] the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

I imagine Joseph riding into the Egypt, and choosing a pleasant disposition. You know when we feel grumpy or crummy but we choose to not spread it to others. Instead of a frown, we turn it upside down? I imagine in my mind Joseph, after many tears and heart felt prayers to God, finally coming to the place in his heart of accepting that God was in control — and at that moment embracing the situation he was now in.

And notice what the Bible says:

[Gen 39:1-2 NKJV] 1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

This reminds me of the life of Jesus:

[Luk 2:52 NIV] 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Everywhere Joseph goes, he becomes a favorite of those he works with. Why? Notice what the

Bible says:

[Gen 39:2-3 NKJV] 2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.  

The Spirit of the Lord is attractive to others — and when other’s notice Jesus in you they are attracted to the Jesus they see in your life. Trust in the Lord was reflected in the character of

Joseph, and this was noticed by Potiphar, made an impression on him, and through this Joseph was promoted and blessed.

Now I also think Joseph made some conscious choices to work hard, have a positive attitude, and had wisdom in business affairs — but the Bible mentions the primary reason Joseph was blessed was because God was with him and Potiphar noticed that God was with him. He was different than everyone else, because the peace of God reigned in his life.

Notice this same thing happened with Jesus’ disciples:

[Act 4:13 NKJV] 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

Peter and John were unnaturally bold, fearless! They were filled with wisdom, and yet uneducated! They spoke with perfect freedom, and yet were untrained! What could account for this? — Ahh, yes… These men must have been with Jesus. Isn’t it marvelous that when Jesus fills your life it is noticed by others?

The Bible says:

[Phl 4:6 NKJV] 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

[1Jo 4:18 NKJV] 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Where Jesus is there is peace. Where Jesus is there is love. Where Jesus is there is boldness. and these character traits are attractive — because Jesus is attractive.

[Jhn 12:32 NKJV] 32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all [peoples] to Myself.”

So what is the secret of success? If you want to grow in favor with God and men, fill your life full of Jesus — Make room for Him in your life. Make the presence of Jesus a priority. The Bible tells us that by beholding Him we are changed into His image, and beholding requires us to spend time studying Him, His life, His teachings, His words and ways…  

You see when we skip prayer, when we carry our anxious and troubled burdens on our own rather than giving them to God. When we neglect our time with Lord, and feast on facebook rather than feasting on His promises written down for you and me — we are living a life apart from God. And no one will ever notice that God is with us, because we are not living WITH God. But friends, when you spend time with Jesus, the fragrance of His presence rubs off on you and everyone can tell who you’ve been with.

Illustration: 11 Volunteer come up (Nothing in your hands, no lotion or fragrance at all…) and I will choose one to be blindfolded… I’m going to blind fold you and while you are blindfolded I’m going to shake one persons hand. Then I’m going to lead them to you one at a time, and you have to guess which persons hand I shook.

Put blindfolded person in a seat. Line the ten people up, and have them go one by one to the person in the chair and have him smell their hands.

When you spend time with Jesus you become one of those who bears his fragrance.

[2Co 2:15 NKJV] 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Joseph carried the fragrance of Christ with him wherever he went — why? because he had made God his refuge, he had made God his counselor, he had made God his defender, he trusted in the Lord to lead him, He looked to the Lord to provide for him, He had spent time beholding the God of his fathers, and now in the house of his master he reflected the God he loved…The fragrance of his Creator clung to his garments and filled the home where he lived.

But the story of Joseph also reveals other lessons for how blessings work. Do you remember at the beginning of Joseph’s life God gave him a dream?

[Gen 37:6-8 NKJV] 6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 “There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

The brothers saw the interpretation of the dream immediately — but who gave this dream? It was from God, and this dream was a calling that God gave to Joseph. You might even say it was a promise from God — This was where God wanted Joseph to go in his life. This was the ultimate blessing that God was planning to lead Joseph to. But did the blessing come after the dream? Did Joseph receive the blessing after the calling from God?


Here is the truth — every person in this world receives a calling from God to something great, a place He wants us to fill in His great plan. We don’t get to chose that plan or calling, God chooses it for us — Our only choice is whether we will fill that plan to his glory or not:

[Dan 2:21 NLT] 21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

[1Sa 2:7 NLT] 7 The LORD makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up.

[Pro 8:15 NKJV] 15 By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.

[Luk 1:52 NKJV] 52 He has put down the mighty from [their] thrones, And exalted [the] lowly.

Now, God is the one who gives you a calling, a destiny. At some point in your life God will reveal His plan and purpose for you, and you will know it, like Joseph…  

This is why the Apostle Paul calls us a body of believers:

[1Co 12:14-18 NKJV] 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [would be] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [would be] the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Do you see that each has a place in the body? And each person is part of God’s plan in this world… EVERYONE HAS A CALLING FROM GOD.

and along with that calling comes gifts, talents, experience, knowledge, and anything else needed to accomplish that calling.

When like Joseph you finally fill your place to the fullest, we call that the fulfillment of God’s calling — this is the place of glory, the place where you shine, the place where God brings about the full fruit of what he called you to in the beginning.

This was when Joseph finally became ruler of Egypt.

[Gen 41:41-43 NKJV] 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph was called as boy to be ruler

Joseph’s calling was finally fulfilled when He became ruler

But did you notice that Joseph didn’t just go from the robe of many colors to the robe of a prince? The Bible tells us that before Joseph ascended on high, he first had to descend into the dungeon — We will study this time period even more together in our Dive Deeper study this coming week.

But it’s important to know that between the revealing of God’s plan, and the fulfillment of God’s plan is always a period of trial or testing or struggle or pain or hardship or misery.

It’s the darkness before the morning — The Valley between the mountains… It is the oven of fire through which the clay must harden, and without exception you find this period of time in everyone’s life. Between your Call and your Crown is your Cross.

Why the cross? Let me tell you, no one admires the cross… No one wants to face the cross… But when Jesus Christ lives in you, and your mind has been conformed to his mind, your vision of the cross changes! You don’t see the trials that God allows in your life the same way.. Before Jesus, the cross is something to avoid, not something to embrace. It’s an instrument of torture, not a symbol of salvation. Before Christ, the cross is for the weak, not the strong… Before Christ, the cross is a reason to reject the gospel, not the power of the gospel… Before Christ, the cross is our enemy, not our friend… Are you listening… The Cross of Christ the one He died upon, and the one we must die upon — is foolishness to the unbeliever…  

Why would I embrace suffering? Why would trust in the midst of trial? Why would I accept the burden of the Lord?

But when Jesus fills your life, you realize that the burden is a blessing!

[2Co 4:16-18 NKJV] 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward [man] is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen [are] temporary, but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

[1Co 1:23-24 NKJV] 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Had Joseph not learned to lay his will down, and accept the trials and struggles that came to his life as coming from God as a blessing in his life, he may never have obtained the throne. Joseph learned integrity, industry, absolute reliance, patience, management, how to relate to people of all classes, mercy, compassion, empathy and many other things he would need as a ruler through his journey through the cross…  

You see friends, sometimes the blessings of God are not just in sharing his glory — Sometimes the greater blessings are obtained when we share in His suffering.

[Gal 2:20 NKJV] 20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.


[1] The truth is that nobody can sail through life without facing challenges — but when we aren’t living their life, we often don’t see their problems

Scriptures and Quotes

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