Summary: The life of Joseph presents a classic portrayal of one who is a consumate example of what it means to live in true prosperity. Genesis 39 gives us keys to Joseph's, and our, prosperity.
By the time you reach Genesis chapter 39, bible readers and Sunday school attendees have already discovered some things about Joseph. By the time we reach Genesis chapter 39, Joseph (the son of Jacob and Rachel who’s name means remover or increaser) is being delivered out of a pit.
Ask me, HOW DID HE GET IN A PIT?
He got in a pit because he shared his dream with his brothers and his brothers were jealous of him. (Jealousy, that dangerous, treacherous word that is akin to envy, hateration, covetousness and deceit) is the very factor that drives Joseph to a pit.
• Be very careful about telling everybody where you’re going. Be very careful about telling everybody your dream. Because there are many people around you who do not have your best interest at heart. There are a lot of people, they ain’t going nowhere, they know that they ain’t going no where, they don’t intend to go anywhere, they have made a deliberate, calculated and pre-meditated decision that they ain’t going nowhere with nobody and plan to do nothing. And because they ain’t going nowhere and because they know they ain’t going nowhere and because they don’t intend to go anywhere, they don’t want you to go no where. And so people are not happy when you start talking about all these ideas—you gone write a book; you gone start a business; you gone do this; you gone move here—and you’ve got a lot of people around you that you really thought would have patted you on the back and encouraged you; you really thought they would have called you up and said ‘go ahead…I am with…you can make it’. But because a lot of people don’t want nothing out of life—they don’t want you to have nothing out of life. Be very careful who you share you dreams with. (And if what I am saying to you today doesn’t make sense to you, there are two things I need you to do: get a dream and keep living!)
• Be very careful who you share your dreams with. The Bible says that this young man, Joseph (the son of Jacob and Rachel who’s name means remover or increaser) is in a pit because he shared his dream (his vision/his ambition/his purpose/his plan/his goal/his future) with his brothers and his brothers (struck with jealousy and envy and covetousness and deceit) conspire to have him thrown into a pit.
• I’ve got another—I hate to be the bearer of bad news…and I hate to tell you this—I’m cut from the cloth of Martin Luther King, Jr. and our church is working on a project to minister to disenfranchised African-American’s within the inner-city…I had a dream too—I hate to tell you this—but everybody that’s black ain’t your brother.
Let me make it plain—everybody that is your skin color ain’t your brother. Because the Bible says that his brothers threw him in a pit. (Gen 37) Don’t you think, now, that everybody who calls you brother who pats you on the back and says that they are with you. As a matter of fact, the reason you set your alarm on your house when you left home to come to church and locked your gate and the reason you went back and double-checked to make sure your alarm was on your car—it wasn’t because you think some white folks are going to steal your car. You ain’t worried, while you are in church, about some white folks breaking in your house. (I’ll say this: I really wish that we can get to the point where we as African-American men would start being able to trust each other, rely on one another, be able to wrap our arms around one another, and to make sure that we help each other make it to the top)
The Bible says that his brothers threw him in a pit. But by the time we reach Genesis chapter 39, they had taken him out of a pit and they had sold him to a group called the Ishmaelites. This group of people called the Ishmaelites—they take Joseph to Egypt and they sell Joseph to a man named Potipher. Now watch this—Potiphar is the first leiutinant to Pharoah. Pharoah is in control is the head man/honcho in all of Egypt. He’s the H.E.I.C.—the Head Egyptian In Charge. Potiphar takes Joseph, now, as a slave—but incidentally he moves Joseph to his house into the palace.
• Rather than being down about the ways things are going in your life, just remember that you can be in the pit one day and be in the palace the next day. I said that it doesn’t make a difference what’s going on in your life today, I dare you to stay in the hands of the Lord; I dare to keep on trusting in the Lord—with God you can be in the pit one day and in the palace the next day.