Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Genesis 39:1-6

We return to the story of Joseph. When we last saw him, he was headed south into Egypt with a caravan of Ishmaelites!

Now 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.

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph 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. From 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. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Gen 39:1-6)

Verse 2 says it all: “The LORD was with Joseph. . . “ And just in case you missed it, the idea is repeated in verses 3 and 5! Joseph just happened to be purchased by Potiphar, a high-ranking official in Egypt, the captain of the guard. Potiphar, a pagan, saw something special about Joseph. It was obvious to him that the LORD was with Joseph and blessed everything Joseph undertook. So Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his entire household, relaxing in the blessings he received because of his association with Joseph. What a testimony to Joseph’s character that Potiphar could see that Joseph was different!

Remember that here was a young man who was betrayed by the very people who should have loved him, was forcibly uprooted from family and home, and sent into a foreign culture as a slave. He went from being the apple of his father’s eye to a man in chains, sold to the highest bidder. He had every reason to be depressed or even hateful, but, because he was still the apple of his Heavenly Father’s eye, he was able to rise above the betrayal and trust God. He had never left the LORD’s presence, and therefore reflected the light of God to others. Amazing!

And, because Joseph trusted and relied on God, even in the worst of circumstances, those around him were also blessed. Wouldn’t that be great if that could be said of us? That others might be blessed through their association with us - AND that they would recognize the source of the blessing as God alone?? That is what I’m praying for today and for this school year - for my students and the parents in my classroom - that they would be blessed by being in my class this year, and that they would recognize God as the difference!

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