Summary: When falsley accused by Potiphar's Wife, how Joseph Trusted God even when he had been wronged.
TRUSTING GOD … WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN WRONGED!
“Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” (Genesis 39:19–23, NLT)
A college professor answered his telephone at 3:00 A.M. “This is your neighbor, Mr. Smith,” said the voice. “I just want to inform you that your dog is barking and keeping me awake.” The professor thanked him kindly and hung up. The next morning Mr. Smith’s telephone rang at exactly 3 A.M. “This is the professor, from next door” said the caller. “I just wanted to inform you that I don’t have a dog!”
There is something within our human nature that says, ‘Revenge is sweet’. That is what makes us enjoy a story like this! There is something within us that wants to get even particularly when we have been treated unfairly, victimized or accused falsely of doing something. If anyone had a right to feel in this way it was Joseph. Not only had he been treated unfairly by his jealous brothers, not only had he been an innocent victim of the lies of a hormone-charged Egyptian housewife, but in prison he was let down by a friend. If anyone had the right to be bitter it was Joseph and few would have blamed him when he eventually made it to the top if he had extracted every ounce of pleasure out of retaliating. Throwing his brothers into a dungeon as they had thrown him into a pit; shaming Potipher’s wife for shaming him; consigning the chief butler to a fate similar to his baking colleague. Yet, as the Bible shows us, Joseph trusted God and God helped him to heal his pain, allowing him to overcome his bitterness, making him into a man of total forgiveness. What can we learn from this remarkable man?
Over the past few weeks we have learnt much from Joseph’s experience about what it means to trust God. As we scanned Joseph’s entire life, we discovered what it meant to …
TRUST GOD … IN ALL OUR LIVES … You may recall that we a said we can trust God if we …
REMEMBER THAT GOD …
• WORKS SOVEREIGNLY
• WORKS STRANGELY
• WORKS SLOWLY …
IN ALL THAT HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES
Then we looked at the events leading up to Joseph becoming a slave in Potipher’s house and we saw that …
WHEN YOUR DREAMS GO DOWN THE DRAIN …
YOU CAN TRUST GOD IF YOU REMEMBER THAT …
• GOD ENGINEERS THE CIRCUMSTANCES
• GOD ESTABLISHES THE REASON
• GOD ENSURES THE TIMING
Then last week as we considered the rise and fall of Joseph’s tenure in Potipher’s Palace we learnt how to…
TRUST GOD WHEN TEMPTATION CREEPS IN
We saw that Joseph learnt that …
TRUSTING GOD IN TEMPTATION MEANT
• REALISING HIS VULNERABILITY
• RECOGNISING WHAT TEMPTATION IS
• RELYING ON GOD’S ASSISTANCE
So today we move on as we see how Joseph reacted when he had been wronged. As Joseph continued TRUSTING GOD, he teaches us valuable lessons not only on overcoming bitterness but how to honour the Lord and even to be a source of blessing to others WHEN WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED
JOSEPH CHOSE …
• TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE NOT IN THE PAST
• TO SET FREE THOSE WHO HAD INJURED HIM
• TO ALLOW GOD TO BLESS OTHERS THROUGH HIM
We will consider each of these choices Joseph made and learn from what God led him through.
JOSEPH CHOSE TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE NOT IN THE PAST
No one would have blamed Joseph if he became embittered … betrayed by his jealous brothers, sold into slavery, eventually succeeding and becoming overseer of Potipher’s entire estate and then because he did the honorable thing by refusing to betray the trust of his employer, he is falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison.
But the Bible says … “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” (Hebrews 12:15b, NLT)
What an appropriate analogy… ‘a poisonous root of bitterness’! A plant is fed nutrients through its roots. The type of soil into which the roots grow will determine what is produced on the surface. Likewise the product of bitterness will be determined by the soil in which it grows. If the bitterness is fed by past memories of hurts, wrongs and feelings of pain, the flower of bitterness will blossom. But it will not emit a sweet fragrance but will infest the entire environment with the odour of hatred and unpleasantness.