From Potiphar’s House to Prison
January 28 - Nº 28 Genesis 39
The caravan of traders arrived in Egypt. After a long grueling trek across the desert, Joseph was put on an auction block as a slave. Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s bodyguards, was impressed with his appearance and bought him. In the middle of this difficult situation, Joseph decided to do his very best to represent and please God. God blessed him. That doesn’t mean that God freed Joseph from slavery, but He did make Joseph very successful at everything he did as a slave. Potiphar noticed Joseph’s amazing attitude and effort and promoted him, making Joseph his own personal assistant. Even though the culture was completely different from the one he had been brought up in, it wasn’t long before Joseph oversaw everything, including Potiphar’s finances. Joseph had earned God’s favor and Potiphar’s respect. The blessings God had for Joseph spilled over into Potiphar’s life. He and his family began to prosper. Joseph’s master could not have been more pleased with the new slave he had just purchased. Potiphar’s wife liked Joseph too—but for very different reasons. He was handsome and strong, and she was very attracted to him. She tried to convince Joseph to have an affair with her, but he would not even consider it. He knew that Potiphar trusted him with everything he had—including his wife. Having an affair with her would be extremely disloyal. And Joseph knew that it would be sinful in God’s eyes, too. He refused to compromise. Day after day Potiphar’s wife tried to persuade him to go to bed with her, and day after day he turned her down. He tried to avoid her completely. But one day when he entered the house, she was there alone. She grabbed onto his coat and pulled Joseph toward herself and begged him to go to bed with her. He resisted and wriggled free of the coat. Leaving it in her hands, he ran outside. Potiphar’s wife was angry, and she quickly became spiteful. She made up a story and started screaming for her household servants. “Look,” she said, “this Hebrew tried to rape me, and when I screamed, he ran away leaving his coat beside me. See?” And she held up Joseph’s tunic. (For a second time, a coat got Joseph in trouble!) She told the same story to her husband when he came home. Potiphar was furious! He threw Joseph into prison with the worst criminals in Egypt. In the middle of this awful place, God blessed Joseph. He caused the warden to treat him kindly. Even as an inmate, Joseph worked hard to make his boss successful. The warden grew to trust Joseph and gave him more and more responsibilities.
Do you believe that God knows exactly where you are? Do you understand that He has you there for a reason? No matter where we are or how difficult our situation is, He wants us to trust Him and allow Him to make us successful.