Welcome to Friday!
Our passage from the Bible today is Genesis Chapter 39.
We are back with Joseph centre-stage and pick up where we left him at the end of Chapter 37, in Egypt as a slave in the household of Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Do read the passage first before looking at my notes that follow.
This chapter perfectly illustrates the ups and downs of Joseph’s experience, he is doing well, then he is falsely accused and ends up in prison, and then starts climbing up the hill again.
Do note though a key phrase that keeps being repeated throughout these ups and downs, ‘The Lord was with Joseph‘. We see it in verses 2, 3, 21, 23.
But although this is absolutely key (for Joseph and for all of us), there also needs to be a godly and proper response on behalf of the person. And this chapter also perfectly shows us something of Joseph’s character, what’s really inside him that makes him the person he is, and how it spills out in his behaviour and choices.
Yes, the Lord was with Joseph, but his pagan bosses, Potiphar and the prison warder, didn’t know this. What they saw was someone who was trustworthy, who did what he was asked to do, who looked after the things and people in his charge, who were successful, so that the boss didn’t have to worry or be concerned about anything (vs.6, 23). They gave a task to Joseph and it was sorted. It is a great testimony – is the type of person we aim to be?
And Joseph is particularly shown to be trustworthy when temptation is dangled in front of him, when Potiphar’s wife presents herself (v.7). And the answer is a straight “No”, and v.9 gives the deeper reason, ‘How then could I do such a wicked thing against God?’. But the temptation continued day after day (v.10), but Joseph was careful to distance himself, until one day when he is cornered, he still doesn’t give in, but runs away. It is a brilliant model for resisting temptation for us to copy, whatever temptation might come our way.
However, sadly Potiphar believes his wife’s version of events and he ends up in jail, but the Lord was still with Joseph, and His plans will not be thwarted.
We continue the story tomorrow.
In our own extended church address list please pray for 2 who were starting to attend more regularly before the lockdown,