Year 2 Day 283
Read - Genesis 39
Message - Scott Woodburn
Joseph should have been a mere footnote in history. His jealous brothers had sought to kill him but sold him into servitude instead. His life should have been drudgery and pain, forgotten by his family and used and discarded by his new masters. Instead the opposite proved to be true. Joseph had found himself bought by an Egyptian officer called Potiphar (v1). Quickly Joseph proved to be a great addition to Potiphar’s home. The Egyptian’s house and field were both blessed due to the presence of Joseph in the home. Why? Was it down to Joseph being a decent lad? Moses gives us the reason…”the Lord was with Joseph” (v2)
Joseph may have been rejected and humiliated by his family but he was to discover that his God would not leave him or forsake him even in the land of Egypt. Potiphar grew to respect and trust Joseph so much that he had no concern about the food he ate (v6). In other words Potiphar believed he could eat without fear of being poisoned because Joseph was a man of integrity.
It wasn’t just in the kitchen that Joseph could be trusted but also in the bedroom. Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph and made it her mission to entice Joseph into sleeping with her. Yet Joseph refused. He sought to honour both his master and His God. To have sex with Potiphar’s wife would be a sinful and wicked act, so the young foreigner consistently refused the woman’s advances.
Unfortunately her lust turned to vindictiveness. One day Joseph fled from her hand and accidentally left his garment in the possession of Potiphar’s wife (v13). She used the garment to underline her false story. She told both the men of the house and her husband that Joseph had sought to mock her and sleep with her. In her story she raised her voice against Joseph causing him to flee and leave behind his garment (v18). Her story changed as she told it but needless to say Potiphar was enraged and had Joseph thrown in prison (v19-20).
At this stage you would think Joseph would fade into obscurity - finally the wicked plan of his brothers would be fulfilled and Joseph would spend the rest of his days in an Egyptian jail. Not quite. Even in prison the Lord was with Joseph. We are told that the Lord showed him steadfast love and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison (v21). Joseph ended up in charge of all the other prisoners (v22) and the Lord made Joseph’s every action succeed (v23).
The world in which we live is as pagan as ancient Egypt and yet we are still called to live Christ honouring lives here on earth. We honour Christ as we do our daily work with honesty and integrity, we honour Christ as we honour our earthly masters and we honour Christ as we refuse the easy sexual encounters of the modern age. Such actions do not guarantee success - Joseph did the right thing and still ended up in prison! But nevertheless, each day we seek to follow Jesus knowing that the Lord charts and guides our path.
“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2v12)
Q45 Which is the first commandment? The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.