Summary: Faith in God can help us to adjust and go on when we would be prone to fracture.
1. A cow and a chicken were framed and thrown into prison. They knew they had to get out to bring the criminals to justice so they spent weeks designing escape plans. Finally, a month after they had been thrown in, they escaped in the middle of the night. However, they weren't silent enough and they had to flee from the prison guards…Finally they came to a road. "This is it," said the cow. "Once we're on the other side we'll be across the border and free from the guards". The chicken looks sadly at the road and replies "You go on ahead" The cow stares at him. "Why are you giving up now after all the time we've spent planning?" The chicken replied, "If I cross that road, they'll never stop asking questions." [upjoke.com]
2, Joseph not only experience going from riches to rags to riches to rags to riches. He also went through the traumatic experience of being framed for something he did not do.
Main Idea: Faith in God can help us to adjust and go on when we would be prone to fracture.
I. Joseph ADJUSTED to Whatever Came at Him (1-23).
Some people are double jointed and can bend in amazing ways. Some people are like that when it comes to live, while others are rigid and easily snap.
A. He took the role of a servant and EXCELLED at it (1-6).
1. One commentator pointed out that he exchanged his robe of many colors for a servant’s outfit (a tale of two robes).
2. Joseph, who had been exempted from hard work, now had to engage in it.
3. He was learning service and humility.
4. God blesses him, but he also determines to apply his whole heart….
5. The result: promotion of household manager; cared for everything.
6. Potiphar must have had no doubt about his competence or character.
B. Joseph was tempted repeatedly to SIN sexually (7-18).
1. This is meant to be a contrast with his brother Judah in chapter 38.
2. Note the parallelism.
The life of Joseph is presented in a parallel pattern. Outline from The Literary Structure of the Old Testament by David A. Dorsey, Baker Academic. A lot of twos!
A Trouble between Joseph and his brothers (37:2-11)
A’ More trouble between Joseph and his brothers (37:12-36)
B Sexual temptation involving Judah (38:1-30)
B’ Sexual temptation involving Joseph (39:1-23)
This parallelism continues throughout the Joseph narrative.
3. In chapter 38, Tamar entices Judah to have sexual relations with her; he thinks she is a prostitute, and apparently Judah had a problem.
4. She presents his ring and staff as evidence that she became pregnant through Judah.
5. Potiphar’s wife repeatedly attempts to seduce Joseph, with great determination.
– It is not always a blessing to be good looking, folks. It can be a curse in some instances.
6. She presents Joseph’s coat as evidence that Joseph had attempt to lie with her.
7. The coat is evidence and is objective. It is interpreting the evidence that is very often the issue, whether in legal matters, science, history, or our understanding of Scripture.
C. Joseph is FRAMED for something he did not do (19-23).
1. Potiphar’s wife lies about what happened, and Joseph ends up in prison.
2. Prison was not common in that part of the world; criminals usually executed.
3. Being in charge of the guards, perhaps Potiphar knew Joseph would be helpful.
4. We can be sure that Joseph was depressed, and perhaps went through a time of self-pity; this is not mentioned here, because this is a brief summary.
5. He probably struggled with his trust in God. He went from a free life and the center of attention to a slave but then a respect slave, and then his bubble burst again.
6. But even there, he blooms where he is planted. He determines to be the model prisoner, and soon earns the respect of the warden. Joseph again is in charge.
7. Joseph keeps getting knocked down, but had he not been in prison, he would never have become Egypt’s prime minister.
II. The Ability to Adjust to Things BEYOND Your Control Makes for a Better Life.
A. Joseph was STRONG when it came to self-control.
• There is so much in life you cannot control, good to properly control what you can.
• However, self-control is something that also needs to be done in moderation.
B. Joseph was realistic about HUMAN nature, including his own.
1. He knew there was a time to run.
2. Joseph is the living example of the words Paul would later write to Timothy, “ So flee youthful passions” (2 Timothy 2:22).
3. Men and women, it is not enough to think you would never commit immorality; you need to take precautions and not just trust your will power or think you are incapable. Many affairs begin with a personal conversation or too personal or frequent texting.