Genesis 39:1-23, 50:18-21
Now Joseph had been taken to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he did successful, Joseph found favor with his master and became his personal attendant. Potiphar also put him in charge of his household and placed all that he owned under his authority. From the time that he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph. The Lord ’s blessing was on all that he owned, in his house and in his fields. He left all that he owned under Joseph’s authority; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. After some time his master’s wife looked longingly at Joseph and said, “Sleep with me.” But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “with me here my master does not concern himself with anything in his house, and he has put all that he owns under my authority. No one in this house is greater than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. So how could I do this immense evil, and how could I sin against God?” Although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her. Now one day he went into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were there. She grabbed him by his garment and said, “Sleep with me!” But leaving his garment in her hand, he escaped and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his garment with her and had run outside, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “my husband brought a Hebrew man to make fools of us. He came to me so he could sleep with me, and I screamed as loud as I could. When he heard me screaming for help, he left his garment beside me and ran outside.” She put Joseph’s garment beside her until his master came home. Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave you brought to us came to make a fool of me, but when I screamed for help, he left his garment beside me and ran outside.” When his master heard the story his wife told him — “These are the things your slave did to me” — he was furious and had him thrown into prison, where the king’s prisoners were confined. So Joseph was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor with the prison warden. The warden put all the prisoners who were in the prison under Joseph’s authority, and he was responsible for everything that was done there. The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him, and the Lord made everything that he did successful.
His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!” But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result — the survival of many people. Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
What trials have you faced in your life? What has your perspective been like in the midst of those messes? Looking back, how has God shaped you into who you are because of those terrible or difficult things?
Hope: Even though Joseph’s charmed life resulted in a pit and a prison, he continued to trust God and eventually God placed him in a palace. Because of his faith, he ended up saving all of Egypt and his brothers from death (Jesus was a descendent of Joseph’s brother, Judah, so it’s a good thing he continued to trust God!)
God, living in a broken world can be overwhelming. My pain and struggle are real but I am holding on to you! I know you have a plan to redeem even my worst circumstance for good and for your glory.
Take some time today to write a few letters to kids and their families that are in the hospital over the holidays. Invite your small group or family to join you as well.