Note: When doing a study on a book in the Bible you use a lot of resources. The major influence for me on this study of Genesis is The Genesis Record by Henry Morris.
In Genesis 39 there is one phrase that seem to be the common theme of this chapter. It is found in verses 2,3,21, and 23. The phrase is "the Lord was with Joseph." This is an important part of this chapter and the rest of the book of Genesis.
In this phrase we see that God is working. Even in the trials and persecutions of Joseph God has a plan. As we will see God has a plan for Joseph. A plan of separation for the Israelites.
Joseph expressed this to his brothers at the end of Genesis
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.
I am reminded of Romans 8:28* And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
It is the same with our lives. God has a plan for our lives. Never think that God does not know what he is doing. He always does. He can take the worst events and turn them to his purpose. It is all a matter of how we handle and face each situtation. Now let us see how Joseph handled each situtation.
Genesis 39:1. And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
He we see the first mention of the phrase "the LORD was with Joseph" And because of this he was prosperous. Was he prosperous fininically? Was he prosperous materially? No. He was a slave. But I believe God gave him wisdom. Management skills. One thing about followers of God is they have a tendecy to have a clearer picture with few distractions. They prosper in wisdom and management when it comes to doing God's will. They should be good and faithful stewards. It is very bad when a Christian is a bad steward. In debt and broke. This is not God's way. God always provides but he leaves it up to us to decide what to do with what he provides.
Many of Christians I have met who could not manage their home fininically. And honestly you can see it in their character and their relationship with God. In their priorities and the way they pay their tithes. It is clear as a crystal.
3 And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all [that] he had he put into his hand.
When the world sees the faithfulness and the consitent Godlly character of a Christian they will always want them to oversee their work. It makes sense so they take advantage. I wonder though what some bosses do think? It is very pitiful for a person to do a 1/2 job on their work force. To come in late consistently or be a bad image.
Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
5 And it came to pass from the time [that] he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
6 And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was [a] goodly [person], and well favoured.
He trusted him so much that he allowed him to take care of all with no worry of what would happen. No checking just trust.
7. And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what [is] with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 [There is] none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou [art] his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Do you notice any thing about Joseph's view of marriage?
First notice Joseph's view of marriage. One man one woman in a relationship with each other only. If we had that today our world would be a whole lot better but we want our pleasure.
All sin that is committed is committed against God. No matter what it was it is against him. If any one understood this it was King David. But he had to learn it the hard way.
Psalms 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.
Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Proverbs 6:32-AV [But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
What is so bad about adultry? No trust, all for pleasure. See note in FLSB on Ex 20:14.
Joseph did not have the 10 comandments but he knew this was wrong and immoral. Who cares about wrong before Potipher and the world the most important is wrong before God. He is the one who decides right and wrong.
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, [or] to be with her.
She was really tempting Joseph. But he held fast to his faith. And you know he made it hard for her.
I read a quote that said,"Hell had no fury like that of a woman scorned".
Proverbs 21:9 & 25:24-AV [It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
Proverbs 21:19-AV [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
11 And it came to pass about this time, that [Joseph] went into the house to do his business; and [there was] none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
What do you think about the woman?
I don't believe that they had the best of relationships. He was probalbly away a lot and she was young. I also don't believe that she used to being turned down.
15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
19. And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
Do you think that Potipher thought his wife was telling the truth? Maybe on the surface. Maybe even at the begining. He was a smart man though. A leader in the Pharohs army. But you know he could have had him killed. But he threw him into prison as we will see. He did not want to be embarassed. Why believe a Hebrew anyway?
20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners [were] bound: and he was there in the prison.
What a life. Let's see if we can trace it. From the apple of his father's eye, to sold in slavery, to the steward of his masters house now to prison.
Some say followers of the Lord won't be persecuted. They need to talk to Joseph. He was one of his most faithful followers now look at him.
21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that [were] in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer [of it].
23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing [that was] under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and [that] which he did, the LORD made [it] to prosper.
So this is how we end. Joseph is thrown in prison. But as he was a trusted man. A man whom the Lord was with he was put over the prison. Trusted and used. As we will see it will be to the Lords will. What would you think if you were Joseph?