January 17, 2021
JOSEPH IS SOLD INTO SLAVERY
Each and every one of us should remember that God is always with us. God is always with us, no matter how we act. He is just always there. However, we as little humans always have the idea that God is with us even more when we “deserve” it. Deserve has nothing to do it. God is always with us, but, indeed, more blessings do come to us when we walk in God’s ways, even when we think we are in dangerous territory.
Joseph is headed into dangerous, dark territory. He was sold to slave traders who were on their way to Egypt. How could this possibly work out good for Joseph? How could Joseph survive this with any possibility of having anything near an ordinary life? Look at what God tells us in Proverbs 16:7 – When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him. As we spend the next few weeks with Joseph, we will see just how God proves His Word is always true.
Watch for these four specific lessons in Joseph’s life:
1. You must not be weakened by you situation
2. You must not be deceived by the persuasion
3. You must not be gentle with your emotions
4. You must not be confused with the immediate results
As we go forward from here watch how Joseph responds in each and every situation. Joseph does not respond as you might think a young man might; especially when he is mistreated and abused by his own brothers.
Now we pick up Joseph’s story in Genesis 39:1 – Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. Remember, his brothers sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites and he was out of their lives forever, at least that’s what they thought.
Remember our Proverbs verse (16:7)and look at Genesis 39:2 – The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. In the midst of everything seeming to go wrong for Joseph, (possible murder at the hands of his brothers, being sold into slavery), things were actually looking up.
Genesis 39:3-5 – When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned; the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
This Scripture tells us that not only did Joseph prosper, everything around him, everything in Potiphar’s world also prospered. He was trusted completely by Potiphar. Things were beginning to really look up for Joseph. But there was a fly in the ointment. Rarely does the Bible speak of someone’s appearance, or good looks. There are only four occasions when this happens in the Old Testament, and when it does it is followed by how their good looks got them in trouble. (Joseph, Saul, David, and Absalom) Beginning in verse 7 we can see what went on: 39:6-7 – Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” Potiphar’s wife was obviously a problem. She obviously wanted Joseph in her bed.
Charles Swindoll has said, “There is not one person who has cast his shadow across this earth, including Jesus Christ, who has not faced temptation.” Temptation in itself is not a sin; the sin can come in how you respond to it.
So far we have seen how Joseph responded to Point #1. He was not weakened by his bad situation. Now let’s see how he responds to Point #2. How does he respond to tempting persuasion?
The way he responded was not be gentle with his emotions. (Point #3) He immediately RAN from Potiphar’s wife and house. 39:8-12 – But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
He would not let her tempt him into sin. That is an easy lesson to remember, run, run, run from sin. It’s the only valid response you should keep in your anti-sin toolbox. So, so far, Joseph is getting A’s on these tests. Let’s keep following him and see how it goes from here.
Bostwick UMC 1/17/21