Joseph, the son of Jacob, was put into prison for doing what was right (Genesis 39:20). He was trying to avoid sexual sin with the wife of his boss, Potiphar. In her evilness she twisted the story she told to her husband saying that Joseph had raped her. Potiphar had Joseph placed in prison – but it was a special prison – it was the Kings Prison.
Scholars believe that it was a 10 to 12 year period that Joseph was incarcerated. Though at times it probably felt that Joseph would perish, he didn’t. What is interesting about Joseph’s character is that he actually flourished in the prison. When the king’s cupbearer and baker were imprisoned Joseph was appointed as their overseer. We see that Joseph rose above his own needs and was concerned with the needs of others.
The very thing that Satan was using to try and destroy Joseph was the very thing that developed him. Though he had never been in the king’s presence he now oversaw two men who regularly rubbed shoulders with the king. He learned how the king ate, what he wore, what his preferences were, what was court protocol. The prison ground became his training ground.
The King’s Prison was different than other prisons. This type of prison was more of a “holding tank” until the felons could go to trial. At this point harsh treatment and torture would often be inflicted. We can gather from Ps.105:18 that Joseph was treated harshly and possibly flogged or tortured.
Jesus said “If any of you want to be my followers, you must deny yourself, pick up your cross daily and follow after me.” Lk. 9:23
When we have committed our lives to Christ, daily obeyed Him and done all that we know to serve Him it often behooves us how we end up with such life difficulties, trials and tribulations. This is what we call the Kings Prison.
Jesus is our King. The elite spiritual prison called the Kings Prison is for those who are completely sold out to following Christ. It is where we are severely trained. The hard lessons come through the following ways.
1) Separation: All prisoners are separated from the rest of society. Have you been forsaken by friends? Has your spouse left you? Perhaps you feel like an outsider at your church.
2) Loneliness: All prisoners feel alone. When you are chasing after God you will find your circle of friends and family begins to shrink, people don’t understand you, you no longer fit in. Loneliness can be a good thing. It can teach you what and who is truly important in your life. It draws you closer to Christ.
3) Adversity: Prisoners face adversity by just trying to survive the prison system. The Word of God tells us that we can rejoice in tribulations because that teaches us perseverance, which teaches us proven character, which brings about hope – and because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts we will not be disappointed by God’s hope.
4) Being Forgotten: Every prisoner fears that he or she will be forgotten. Do you feel unimportant? Do you ever feel like your life doesn’t matter? Do you sometimes wonder if God still cares? Do you ever feel people don’t even know that you exist?
In January of 2007 I wrote these words next to Genesis 39:
“I am so confined. No job. No hope. No ministry. I am in the Kings Prison waiting for my day.”
Beloved, the Kings prison is where God takes simple men and woman of God and turns them into amazing leaders for Christ. Joseph became the second in command over a vast empire. Only God could do that. Only our God could change this hopeless situation into a powerful testimony.
If you are in the Kings Prison be at peace, it is a training period, a learning period, a growing period. This is your time to ask the Lord to show you what He desires for you to learn through this. This is your time to grow in proven character. Satan wants you to give up – don’t. Hold on. Your time is coming.
Use this time to continually praise God. Do it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Praise Him all day long. God is a good God no matter how we feel, what our circumstances look like and what seems to be the outcome. Praise breaks the chains of self-pity, despair and hopelessness. Praise once again reminds us that God is truly in control. Praise is the river that carries us through the hard times.
When the fullness of time has come you and I will hear the rattle of keys, the steps of the guard and the slow squeaking of the door. We will be set free into our divine destiny. You may be in the Kings Prison – but one day we will walk out stronger, taller and more full of Christ than ever before. We will be ready to march into our Divine Destiny.