Daily Thought for: 9th February


Genesis 39

Joseph is eventually sold as a slave in Egypt. He had plenty to complain about but we do not hear a word of self-pity or complaint from him. Separated from his family, with no apparent hope of ever gaining his freedom, he just carries on in a life of godliness. Others noticed that there was something different about him, ‘And his master saw that the LORD was with him’, v. 3, and again, ‘But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison’, v. 21. So it was true of him, ‘When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him’, Prov. 16. 7. 

The truth is that Joseph was not just serving an earthly master. He was already in the good of the exhortation to New Testament believers, ‘Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free’, Eph. 6. 5-8. God grant us strength to be living like this. A further challenge is here—when did others last notice Christ in us? 

Someone has so very aptly outlined this passage as follows:— 1. Joseph’s reaction to slavery—boundless energy. 2. Joseph’s reaction to sin—blessed inability. 3. Joseph’s reaction to slander—beautiful integrity. 

Potiphar’s wife tempts him and so in order not to be exposed to this he ensures that he is not alone with her, v. 10b. It is probable that when he went into the house he expected the other men to be there, v. 11. In any case, in the face of her further tempting him, he flees from her presence, v. 12; cf. 2 Tim. 2. 22. For this he suffered further punishment, ‘Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron’ (lit. the iron entered his soul), Ps. 105. 18. But in the face of all this adversity, when all seems so dark, he remains faithful to the Lord—a beautiful type of Christ. 


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