Genesis 39

One of the most impressive things about Joseph is that he made the best of every situation; he bloomed where he was planted. He was far from home, separated from his family, actually owned by another person (v.1 says that Potiphar bought him). Joseph had every reason to give up, but he didn’t. Instead, he pressed on with determination and gusto.

QUESTION: So what kept Joseph encouraged? What kept him working hard and doing his best in such awful situations?
ANSWER: The Lord was with Joseph! This chapter says so four times (v.2, 3, 21, 23).

The Lord was present with him, and in the Lord’s presence there were blessings (v.5); success (v.2, 3, 23); favor (v.4, 21); and advancement (v.4, 22). First as a slave and then as a prisoner, those who were around Joseph knew there was something special about him. It wasn’t his good looks or his work ethic that set him apart — it was nothing less than the touch of God on his life!

Besides the obvious and abundant divine grace at work in Joseph’s life, I believe the Lord delighted to bless him because of his personal hatred of sin and his commitment to personal holiness. God blesses that.

Joseph’s response to the relentless sexual advances of Mrs. Potiphar was, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? (v.9). Though she tried to seduce him day after day, Joseph maintained his integrity, even when it meant running for the nearest exit.

My favorite verse in this chapter is verse 21. It should be understood in light of what Joseph had been through: he had been misunderstood by his family, betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, sexually harassed, falsely accused, and wrongfully imprisoned. “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love.”

Think about that: steadfast love. Sometimes, like Joseph, the only thing in your life that is steadfast is God’s love. Let Him love you through your trials and your hurts today.

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