Summary: In Genesis 39 Joseph lives out a three step plan for success.

Genesis Series # 7 CHCC: March 11, 2007

Secrets of Success

Genesis 39


Someone once asked radio commentator Paul Harvey to reveal the secret of his success. Here’s what he said: "I get up when I fall down," Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 16.

That’s pretty simple, but I think race-car-driver Bill Vukovich might have him beat. When someone asked Vukovich the Secret of his Success, he replied:

“There’s no secret. You just press the accelerator to the floor and steer left.”

Today in the Word, February 17, 1993

I looked up “Secrets of Success” on the Internet and found one Website that gave 30 secrets of success and 7 books you need to buy if you want to get there. Another one directed you to an online Zen Doctor who could tell you all you need to know … for a modest fee, of course.

How many of you have heard of Andy Willoughby’s 3-step plan for success? You know, he’s they guy who says, “Hi, how in the world are you anyway?” If you EVER turn on the radio, you’ve probably heard him. By the way, this 3-step plan will cost you $150 to $525 per month.

Well, the story of Joseph is the best Success Story you’re ever going to find. He literally went from rags to riches --- from a Pit to a Palace. Joseph was the kind of man you just can’t keep down. And Joseph’s 3-Step-Plan is guaranteed to work every time it’s tried. (By the way, you don’t have to visit a Zen Doctor, or buy a bunch of books, and there are no hidden fees.) So let’s take a look at Joseph’s 3-Step Plan for Success:

Step 1 – Trust what God does Genesis 39:1-7

Have you ever heard anyone say something like this: “If there really is a God, why do innocent people have to suffer?” Or maybe it’s more personal and they say, “If God really loved me, why would He let this happen to me?”

If anyone ever had reason to ask those kinds of questions, it would be Joseph. When his brothers threw him into a Pit --- and then sold him as a slave, I’m sure Joseph’s faith was shaken. But scripture says, “We walk by Faith, not by Sight.” II Corinthians 5:7

When everything is going wrong and life makes no sense … when unfair things happen to us … that’s when we have the opportunity to WALK BY FAITH. In spite of all the struggles Joseph went through, it’s obvious he came out of it with his Faith intact.

Joseph’s first SECRET of SUCCESS is that he kept Trusting in the goodness of God … even when he couldn’t SEE it.

Joseph was sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar. Genesis 39:4 says Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

Now, Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. Specifically, he was the captain of the guard … which means this was a man with plenty of clout. Running his household was like being the CEO of a major company. So why did Potiphar give that kind of status to a slave? The answer is surprising. Vs. 3 says that Potiphar saw that the LORD was with Joseph and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did.

The name Potiphar means “devoted to the sun.” Potiphar was named in honor of the sun god that the Egyptians worshipped. But in spite of this, Potiphar grew to respect Joseph’s God. Potiphar admired Joseph’s unshakable trust in his God, and he saw that God rewarded Joseph for his faith.

That brings us to Joseph’s second SECRET of SUCCESS – even in the middle of bad times, Joseph appreciated the good things God gave him

Step 2 – Appreciate what God gives Genesis 39:8-10

Joesph had plenty of problems he could have focused on. Even though Joseph was in a high position in Potiphar’s house, he was STILL a SLAVE … Joseph knew he would probably die as a slave, never seeing his home again. He was trapped in a foreign country where everyone spoke a foreign language and worshipped foreign gods.

And on top of that, Joseph had a tricky situation developing.

Genesis 39:6-7 sums it up in one short statement: Now Joseph was well built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!"

We don’t know a lot about Potiphar’s wife … in fact, we don’t even know her name. But it’s likely that her interest in Joseph developed over a period of time as this young slave served in her home. My guess is that she tried a lot of subtle ways to let Joseph know she was interested. But as time went by, she realized her attempts to flirt and entice were getting her nowhere --- so eventually she gave up on subtlety and made a direct proposition.

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