Success Brings Danger
Mighty God, Your love never ends, and is with me in every moment. Speak to me in this moment, I pray.
Read GENESIS 39:1-23
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Think about an occasion when you were the victim of a false accusation. What emotions did you feel? How did you react?
As Potiphar and the keeper of the prison entrusted their affairs to Joseph, they benefitted from God’s blessing. No doubt they were impressed by Joseph’s administrative skills and integrity; yet, Joseph’s success was due to God’s presence. He had been badly treated by others, but God had not abandoned him and he remained committed to God. How easy it would have been for him simply to complain to God! What can we learn from Joseph’s example?
Potiphar’s wife is a woman who likes to have her own way. Day after day she persistently pursues Joseph in order to satisfy her own lust. For her, adultery is no “great wickedness,” a common, ancient Near Eastern term for adultery (see 20:9; Psa. 51:4) (9, NRSV). She clearly has no respect for her husband. Perhaps she feels secure because she has the ability to manipulate him. Observe how she skillfully twists him around her little finger as she implicates him in the affair by calling Joseph “your slave” (19). If only her husband had not been so trusting of this foreign slave, she would not have been molested by him. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Potiphar unquestioningly yields to her.
Today’s reading begins (3) and ends (23) by highlighting how God’s presence with Joseph brings him success. As a source of blessing to others, Joseph is presented here as fulfilling, in part, the divine promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Later in the Joseph story, many nations will come to Egypt during a time of famine and be indebted to Joseph for their survival. In this, Joseph foretells a “greater Joseph” who brings God’s blessing to all the nations of the earth.
Be encouraged that even when circumstances work against us, God works for us. How has God done that for you recently?
Lord, thank You for your faithfulness in caring for me in good times and bad. May I bless others as You’ve blessed me.
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