Joseph was sold to the Ishmeelites, then to Potiphar, an Egyptian captain. Genesis 39:2 says, “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man;” Joseph was in a place of adversity. He was not in Egypt by choice, but God was still with him. Like Joseph, you may be in a place you don’t want to be. Yet if you know Jesus as Saviour, you have His promise of Hebrews 13:5: “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” He can bless and help you, even in a place of adversity.
Genesis 39:3 says, “And his master saw that the LORD was with him,” Potiphar saw and heard how Joseph spoke and acted. Joseph apparently didn’t go about acting bitter over what his brothers had done. Potiphar also saw that God was with Joseph. Whatever false deities were worshipped in Egypt, Potiphar knew there was a God who was sovereign over all and that God was with Joseph. Potiphar also saw how “…the LORD made all that he [Joseph] did to prosper in his hand.” (Genesis 39:3)
Potiphar made Joseph “…overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” (Genesis 39:4) When Potiphar did that, “…the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” (Genesis 39:5) Potiphar trusted Joseph so much that “…he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not aught he had, save the bread which he did eat.” (Genesis 39:6)
Joseph may have had opportunities to steal from Potiphar, but “…the LORD was with Joseph,” to bless him and to guide him. God guides us in righteous paths. As Psalm 23:3 says, “…he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God guided Joseph to be uncomplaining, industrious, and honest. Joseph was not just a servant to Potiphar. First and foremost, he was a faithful servant to God.
No matter where you work, your status, or who your boss is, if you are a Christian you are ultimately Jesus’ servant: “…ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:24) If you want to be a good witness for Christ, and hopefully you do, here are three things we can see from Joseph’s example:
Don’t be a chronic complainer. Joseph was not a chronic complainer. If he made any mention of how he came to Egypt, it did not dominate his conduct. Most workplaces, including most police agencies, aren’t perfect. You should present problems and possible solutions, but don’t spend so much time complaining to co-workers and being negative that your Christian testimony suffers.
Work hard. Joseph worked hard. Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathered her food in the harvest.” An ant doesn’t need a boss checking to make sure she’s doing her job. If you’re a Christian, neither should you. Most workplaces have their share of lazy employees. Don’t be lazy. The Lord doesn’t deserve laziness.
Be honest. Joseph was honest. Honesty pleases God. “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness.” (1 Chronicles 29:17) Yet dishonesty shows a lack of respect for God: “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.” (Proverbs 14:2)
Genesis 39:6 says, “And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.” Things were going well for Joseph until another form of temptation came, which we will see in another essay. Meanwhile, if you want to see from the Bible how to know for sure your sins are forgiven and that heaven is your home, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 11/14/2022
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822