Summary: Joseph in Prison. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Genesis chapter 39 verse 21 to chapter 40 verse 23.


• I was relieved recently to find out that I’m not the only one who forgets things.

• According to researcher Karen Bolla.

• Everyone does at one time or another.

• These are the six things people most often forget:

• (6). faces 42%

• (5). what was said 49%

• (4). words 53%

• (3). telephone numbers 57%

• (2). where something is 60%

• (1). names 83%

• And if you can’t remember whether you’ve just done something;

• You join 38 percent of the population.


• Physician to patient:

• “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times—I do not treat amnesia cases!”

In the chapter before us this morning:

• Joseph seems to be a forgotten man;

• In fact the very last verse of our chapter finishes with the words (verse 23)

“The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him”.

From a human perspective:

• It would appear God had also abandoned and forgotten him too:

• Now if you can cast your mind back to the previous chapter.

• Joseph had been true to God and he refused to be seduced by Potipher’s wife;

• As a result of his faithfulness to God; he has now been wrongly imprisoned;

• And while in prison he has to bear the stigma of being a rapist!

• Chapter 41 verse 1 tells us that he would be in prison for two whole years.

(A). Joseph in prison (Ch 39 vs 21-23)

(1). Josephs secret (Ch 39 vs 21-23)

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”


• A man went out to his car one morning;

• Only to discover that it wouldn’t turn over because the battery had been stolen.

• After lifting up the bonnet,

• He discovered a note where the battery should be, it read:

“I’m sorry I had to take your battery, but it was an emergency and I had to get to the hospital.

I will return your battery as soon as I can.”

• The following morning he woke up;

• To find his battery had been returned and alongside it was another note:

“Thank you so much for the use of your battery. To express our appreciation and to make up for the inconvenience we have caused you, here are two tickets to the theatre for this Saturday’s top show!.

• The couple was ecstatic.

• They had heard how good the show was and were thrilled at the opportunity to go.

• What a wonderful turn of events this had been.

• But when they returned home from the show they discovered, to their dismay,

• That their apartment had been burgled.

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