Summary: Joseph understood that he was not the author of his success. He worked hard and obeyed the Lord. God did the rest. God’s presence with Joseph was linked to his commitment to God. Similarly, God’s presence with us is linked to our commitment to Him.
Have you ever heard the saying that “hell has no fury like a woman scorned?” Well, we have a perfect example of this in the reading we heard from Genesis 39:1-23 a few minutes ago.
Even though Joseph was a slave in Egypt, he showed great faith and righteousness, and even though he was physically alone, the Lord was with him. Because of this support, Joseph endured and prospered. Joseph is a good example for all of God’s people, regardless of their circumstances. Fellowship with the Lord means freedom from fear and loneliness. I know that some of you here in Queens Manor might be suffering from loneliness or fear. I hope you can take comfort in the fact that just like he was with Joseph, God is with you.
People notice when God is with us. For example, when Joseph’s master Potiphar saw that God was with him, it pleased Potiphar and glorified God. It fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would bless others-and Joseph was one of his descendants. Potiphar was so pleased with Joseph that he gave Joseph an enormous honour. He made Joseph the overseer of the household.
Our good characteristics can be both an asset and a liability. In the case of Joseph, his good looks made him the object of Mrs. Potiphar’s lust. Even though she pressured him every day, he didn’t give in to temptation because he knew that by giving in he would betray both his master and God.
Mrs. Potiphar was one of these people who refused to take “no” for an answer. She was so angry that she tried to destroy Joseph with her lies. She blamed everyone but herself for the situation. She blamed her husband for bringing Joseph into the household. When she emphasized the fact that Joseph was not an Egyptian, she took advantage of the long-standing racial tension that existed between Egyptians and foreigners from Canaan. She portrayed Joseph’s actions as being directed against the entire household, and not simply her. She was like many people today in that she blamed everyone else but herself for her actions and their consequences.
At that time, death rather than imprisonment was the common punishment for rape. Potiphar was captain of the guard and could have had Joseph executed, but instead he put Joseph into prison. Even in prison, God’s support for Joseph did not cease. Joseph was given a trusted position of oversight. Joseph understood that he was not the author of his success. He worked hard and obeyed the Lord. God did the rest. God’s presence with Joseph was linked to his commitment to God. Similarly, God’s presence with us is linked to our commitment to Him. That presence gives us the strength we need to overcome adversity and successfully accomplish the tasks God gives us to do.