Scripture for Week of January 26 – February 1

Genesis 39: 1-23 (NIV)

1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.  2The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.  3When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.  Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.  5From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.  The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.  6So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.  Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8But he refused.  “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.   9No one is greater in this house than I am.  My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.  11One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.  12She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!”  But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.  13When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14she called her household servants.  “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us!  He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.  15When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”  16She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.  17Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.  18But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”  19When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger.  20Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.  But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  22So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.  23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

3 replies
  1. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    IT Matters. This Sunday we are beginning a new series of talks looking into the lives of several Old Testament characters to discover lessons of significance in our pursuit of life. But what is IT? IT is those qualities we most need to thrive in life. IT includes those decisions we need to make a difference. For example – IT matters that we never lose heart in life when things seem to be going in the opposite direction than we had hoped or anticipated. IT matters that we have spiritual courage in the face of giant challenges. IT matters that we never harbor or mess around with sin. IT matters that we were willing to stand for truth and God on behalf of a brother or sister in Christ who are struggling. IT matters.

    This week we are going to look into the life of Joseph. And even while he is one of the patriarchs of our faith, things didn’t always seem to go as planned. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he later found himself at the head of Potiphar’s household – only to be hauled off to prison after being falsely accused by Potiphar’s mischievous wife. Then left to seemingly rot as he watched others come and go, Joseph was left with the option of following God or giving up hope. IT mattered that in the face of feeling abandoned that his faith never failed.

  2. Art Fulks
    Art Fulks says:

    The text does not show us whether Potiphar believed in the God of Joseph. However, he found out that the principle of Proverbs 11:10 and 29:2 is true. As God was with and prospered Joseph, it spilled over in blessing to him. Even in the difficulty of false imprisonment, the annointing of God on Joseph’s life led to the blessing of the prison warden.

    The blessing of God on His children can also create discomfort for those committed to following other ‘gods’ (such as Potiphar’s wife). That can lead to temporary discomfort for the God-follower trying to stand for truth. However, Galatians 6:9 reminds us of the temporary nature of these situation and encourages us to trust in God’s ultimate plan for our good and His glory.

    “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9)

  3. Doug Barclay
    Doug Barclay says:

    There are several people in Scripture who could claim “Life isn’t fair”, and Joseph was certainly one of them. It is interesting that Scripture does not record any trace of Joseph feeling slighted. All we know is that “the Lord was with Joseph” – and those around him knew it. I wonder what Joseph was thinking when he was thrown in the cistern and sold by his brothers, what was going through his mind when he was on his way to Egypt and abandoned by his family, I wonder what he thought of the promotion to Potiphar’s service, then unjustly accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown in jail?????

    In golf, sometimes you hit a good shot but end up in a bad spot. It doesn’t really matter how you got there, but what does matter is what you do next. If you dwell on your misfortune, you will likely hit the next shot out of frustration and end up in trouble again. You have to put the past behind you and focus on your next shot. Joseph found himself in several bad spots, but he didn’t dwell on his misfortune. He kept his focus on the Lord and did what he could wherever he was. Joseph responded to his circumstances rather than reacted. He didn’t let the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lust for other things choke out his relationship with God. What an example of keeping first things first.

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