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