Today you should read: Genesis 39:1-18
Joseph was one handsome feller. He was a stud, and not just with his looks either. He was successful in just about every facet of his life. People noticed… Very important people. Potiphar’s wife was one of those people. Potiphar was a key official in Pharaoh’s cabinet, and Joseph had earned his deepest trust and utmost confidence. Potiphar is said to have even recognized that Joseph’s success was of God’s doing (v.3-6).
Unfortunately, yet another part of Joseph’s life took a downturn. But in the midst of this hardship, God was clearly still at work. Here’s how John Piper succinctly puts it:
In Egypt, Joseph is bought by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard (Genesis 37:36). There Joseph submits to God’s strange providence and serves Potiphar faithfully. He rises with trust and influence over Potiphar’s household. And you would think that the righteous would prosper. But it seems to be otherwise. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph. He flees adultery. And the spurned woman is vicious and lies about Joseph. And in spite of his righteousness, he is put in prison.
In prison, again, totally unaware of what God is doing in all this misery, he again serves the jailer faithfully and is given trust and responsibility. Through the interpretation of two dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker, Joseph is eventually brought out of prison to interpret one of Pharoah’s dreams. His interpretation proves true and his wisdom seems compelling to Pharaoh, and Joseph is made commander in Egypt. “You shall be over my house,” Pharaoh says, “and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you” (Genesis 41:40).
Here’s what I’d like us to wrestle with today. These few questions help us link this ancient story with God’s overall plan for us:
- What is your integrity worth?
- Are you willing to give up the good life in order to follow God’s call and purpose?
- Will you follow God in the hard days, even when he seems silent? Again, from John Piper: “Genesis chapters 37-41 only tell the low and high points of Joseph’s Egyptian slavery and imprisonment. But he spent at least 12 years there before he suddenly became Prime Minister. And as he sought to trust and obey God during that terribly lonely, desolate time, things went from bad to worse.”
- What do you think of Joseph’s “Fight Temptation Plan”?
- What else did the Lord point out to you or teach you today?
By: Todd Thomas
7 thoughts on “February 25, 2016”
“Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.” We see phrases like this several times in scripture and I’ve always wondered… did the master really recognize that Joseph’s success was from the Lord, or simply that Joseph was unusually successful? I ask because the Lord of Joseph would have been an unfamiliar God to Potiphar, so how would he know to give God the credit?
What really impresses me about Joseph’s integrity is that he wasn’t even remotely tempted by the wife’s offer; to him it was a no-brainier and he didn’t so much as hesitate to decline! And then day after day as she pestered him he refused to be worn down. Who knows how many days this persisted, but I get this impression it went on for a while. It makes me wonder how often I compromise too quickly on things when perhaps the Lord was asking me to hold out a little longer…
John — good question. Nothing in the passage deters the idea that Joseph shared his religious upbringing with Potiphar, so I think it could be that Potiphar, much like the prophets of Baal with Elijah, saw that there was real blessing with the God of Joseph.
Joseph served God right where he was at. Today it’s in Potiphar’s house, in just a little bit we’ll we it in the prison too. And Joseph served God to the best of his ability, probably doing more than what was expected of him. Not just by his own strength, but with the help of the Holy Spirit. And Potiphar noticed. The same rings true of us. People notice when we rely on the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord faithfully, wherever we are.
How Joseph resisted temptation when it was right there in front of him, day in and day out, is impressive. We are not told if it wore on him, but he never gave in. He has to literally run away from it in the end. Makes me wonder at how easily I can give in, when it’s right in front of my face.
Love the question “what is your integrity worth?” A lot packed in that question, but therein lies some motivation for continued faithfulness to the Lord in the face of temptation or distraction. God is so good. His word prevails in what it sets out to accomplish. Thanks, Todd.
Appreciate it my brother! Thankful for you.
A day late, but some thoughts that were forming were…How to become one of integrity…
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” – Philippians 3:17
“…if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things…” Philippians 4:8-9
“If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.” – Ecclesiastes 10:10
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
GREAT VERSES. Thanks for the reminders KORB!