From Genesis 38-40
Jacob is mistreated by his masters wife and he is sold into slavery. Despite all his hardships he remained faithful to the LORD. What encourages you to remain faithful to God?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Joseph was originally sold to the Ishmaelites, who then sold him in to an Egyptian named Potiphar (Gen 39.1). Joseph may have been tempted to think the LORD had abandoned him and his dreams were false. But the LORD none the less had great plans for him.
Joseph was a natural with logistics and organisation. He could manage households well. While in Potiphar’s house, he was promoted to overseer. Things may have been going well for him, but Joseph was about to be tempted.
6 Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7 And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.”
8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. 9 He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. (Gen 39.6-10)
‘Handsome’, ‘Lie with me’. Joseph has his mother Rachel’s good looks. Potiphar’s wife had been noticing Joseph and wanted him for herself. Betraying her husband she tried to seduce Joseph into her bed.
‘He refused’, ‘Sin against God’. Joseph refuses the demand saying he will not betray her husband who has given him so much. He recognises he would be sinning against God if he did so.
When we sin, no one is more greatly offended than God himself.
Despite all that has happened to him, he still refuses to break faith with the LORD. The dreams and promises the LORD gave him encouraged him to remain faithful over his life despite his difficult circumstances.
11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.” (Gen 39.11-18)
‘No men in the house’. Potiphar’s wife tries again to seduce him. This time no men were around in the house. Thus a greater temptation for Joseph. He refuses again and flees.
But Joseph knows the LORD knows everything we do and think.
‘Garment in her hand’. Unfortunately, she was grabbing at him and caught his garment. He escaped from the house, but she had his garment. Angry at his refusal, she cried out to everyone outside the house and falsely accuses Joseph of sexually assaulting and ridiculing her.
19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled.
20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. (Gen 39.19-21)
‘Put him into prison’, ‘LORD was with Joseph’. Josephs time in Potiphars house ends with predictable results. Potiphar and his wife are left with one another. Joseph is put in prison. But the LORD has bigger plans for Joseph.
Story of Israel
God is bringing the story of Joseph to a much beneficial outcome for Gods family. This new situation leads Joseph into the house of Pharaoh. There he is promoted to overseer of the whole nation and he is able to help his family persevere through a seven year famine. It also sets up the stage for a bigger story.
When evil intentions are involved, whatever people intend for evil God can use to bring about good. God does not promise to shield his people from all evil. But we can believe that whenever evil comes, God is able to accomplish good through it. (Walton, J.H., 2001. Genesis, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.)
Joseph was able to resit temptation and remain faithful to the LORD because of the dreams and promises the LORD gave him.
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Lk 16.10-13)
Joseph was clear during his times of temptation that there was something bigger going on. He refused to sin against the LORD and was willing to suffer for it.
What helps you to resist giving into temptation and sin?
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