Genesis Lesson 24 Day 2
Joseph is now a slave in Egypt.
3) Genesis 39:1-6 God is with Joseph as he serves in Potiphar’s house.
Chapter 39 picks up where chapter 37 left off.
The Ishmaelites/Midianites who bought Joseph from his brothers then sold him to Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar was an important man—Pharaoh’s chief of police.1 His name means devoted to the sun, a name connected with the Egyptian religious system.1
Joseph lost his way of life, his father and his brother Benjamin, his status as prince and holder of the birthright, his special robe that identified his status.
a) Joseph faced and overcame many challenges.
Joseph went from living as a prince among his family (such as they were) to living as a slave in a foreign country.
The Lord enabled Joseph to quickly learn the Egyptian language, culture, and manage Potiphar’s house so perfectly that Potiphar appointed him as overseer of all his household except for the food he ate. (Joseph didn’t oversee the food preparation possibly because of the Egyptians’ prejudice against eating with Asiatics. (Genesis 43:32).5
He excelled in everything he did. The Lord was with him throughout this humbling and lonely time.
Joseph overcame loneliness, fear, and many other challenges to excel in every way.
Unfortunately, Joseph found favor in the eyes of Potiphar’s wife, too. And not in a good way.
b) The Lord is with Joseph.
The Lord was with Joseph and the Lord caused all that he did to succeed. Even though he was a slave, he became a successful and prosperous man.
Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph. “People in these ancient cultures actively sought such divinely empowered men.”5
Joseph lived before Jeremiah’s day, but he had the same God who gave him dreams about his future.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. . . . For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:7, 11).
4a) Genesis 39:7-18 Potiphar’s wife entices Joseph relentlessly.
She dressed and behaved in provocative ways day after day begging him to come to bed with her. She finally arranged for the other men to be out of the house, Then she grabbed him and wouldn’t let go of his robe.
Giving in to her advances wasn’t an option. Joseph slipped out of his robe, leaving it behind.
She kept it beside her until Potiphar came home, then lied about the whole thing.
b) Joseph overcame a massive temptation.
Joseph showed remarkable faithfulness towards God, Potiphar, and himself by resisting this temptation for so long – perhaps for up to 11 years1
He didn’t flirt with her or become friendly with her but said, “You are my master’s wife.”
Joseph remembered that what she asked was a “great wickedness and sin against God.”
Just run away from the temptation. Don’t even entertain the thought for even a moment.
Joseph didn’t allow his good looks to go to his head. He was at an age when his hormones were actively surging, but like Job, he made a covenant with his eyes.
I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high? Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? (Job 31:1-4)
5) Taking a stand for righteousness
- Every daily practice taking every thought captive before a thought can take root and manifest as negative spoken words or actions.
- Other than vote and pray, I prefer to stay out of government and politics. But Christian values are increasingly under attack, so I wonder what to do and say.
- The courage to speak up can cause friends and family members to “set me straight” and some may avoid me altogether.
- It takes courage to avoid gossip.
6) Truths to hold onto in challenging times.
He never promises life will be easy. But He does promise “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
God has a plan for my life.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good (Romans 8:26-28 MSG).
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2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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