101-139 Genesis Part 3 Chapter 39
If anyone could have been bitter and rebellious towards God it would have been Joseph. Joseph was faithful to his God and Lord; he was obedient to his father Israel, and he was dutifully performing the task that had been assigned to him. Yet his own family, his brothers, had taken him and sold him into slavery in the foreign land of Egypt. Our God is bigger than the universe we live in and there is no where we can be that He is not there with us. No matter what our station in life or the labors we must perform, we may be working for another person, but our work is to be done in a manner that will glorify our God. God is the one who blesses us with His provision and it is God who blesses the fruits of our labor. God prospering us in our work will also prosper the ones we work with and for. God holds the hearts of all in His hand and can cause even the hardest of hearts to find favor with us.
Joseph was put into the service of Potiphar who was in charge of the body guard for Pharaoh. Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph and placed him in charge of his whole house. Potiphar prospered because of Joseph and did not concern himself with the care of his home as Joseph had gained his trust.
The lust of the eye for the desires of the flesh is a snare that many are caught in. If we give even the lest of a foothold within our mind, how rapidly can we fall into its clutch. Once lust has gained its power decency, reputation, and conscience are all sacrificed. Potiphar’s wife was fully engaged to do evil. When Satan had failed to overcome Joseph with the troubles and trials he appealed to the sensual pleasures of this world. Joseph, by the grace of God, was enabled to overcome the temptations that Potiphar’s wife hurled at him repeatedly. Displeasing her could have been a danger to Joseph and violating the trust of Potiphar was just as dangerous.
Joseph responds to Potiphar’s wife that he owed his loyalty to both God and his master. That her husband had placed him in charge of all that he had and that Joseph could not violate that trust. Joseph would not offend his God and urges these arguments upon himself. Joseph considers who he was that was being tempted. Joseph was in covenant with God who professed religion and relation to him. What this sin was that he was being tempted with. Others may have thought this a small matter but it was not to Joseph. Joseph saw sin for what sin is wickedness towards God. Joseph also considered whom he was tempted to sin against. Sin is against the nature and dominion of God, against His love and design. For this reason those who love God hate sin. Through the grace of God Joseph was able to resist the temptation by avoiding the tempter. He did not dwell in the thought of or remain in the vicinity of it. Joseph fled away from it as if escaping for his life.
As we experience life we to often learn, those who break the bonds of their modesty are never bound by the bonds of truth. Such was the example of Potiphar’s wife when she could not seduce Joseph she sought to avenge his rejection of her. She accused Joseph of trying to lie with her to the other servants and to her husband Potiphar. In this world it seems the worst of criminals will falsely accuse the best of people of the worst of crimes. The day will come, sooner than later, when all of mankind shall appear in their true character.
Potiphar believed the false accusations of his wife and placed Joseph in prison. Joseph was a child of God and under the protection of God. God continued to use this experience in bringing honor to Joseph. Joseph was alone and away from family and relations, there were none to help him, but our God is faithful and even in prison God opened doors for Joseph. God gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the keeper of the prison. Joseph was entrusted to manage the affairs of the prison. A good man will work to his full potential no matter where his station is. A good man will even be a blessing to those around him even in prison. We have here yet another vision of the coming Messiah. Jesus also suffered being tempted and was without sin. Jesus was slandered, persecuted, and imprisoned, all without cause. It was Jesus who by the way of the cross ascended to the throne. May it be we also that are enabled to follow in the same path of submitting and suffering to arrive at the same place in glory.