Joseph In Potiphar's House
by dumi nkomo
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IN POTIPHAR’S HOUSE
The exciting journey that Joseph had seen himself in took him not just to any place but also to Potiphar’s. Potiphar was a captain of the guard and an official of Pharaoh. We are told that the LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. Having seen that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in all he did, Joseph fond favour in his master’s sight and became his attendant.
The master put Joseph in charge of his household and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. The LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. These blessings covered both the household and fields. This just fulfilled God’s word that through the seed of Abraham would the world be blessed. It was a sad story that was turning good for a young lad many miles from home.
You see his family had destined Joseph to be a slave but God would turn events to his favour. It was the mere presence of Joseph in the household that caused blessing to come. Probably you see yourself as one hopeless someone in life. Did you ever stop to think that your presence could cause things to turn around for other people? Joseph was in a foreign land without hope but caused blessings to visit Potiphar’s household.
It was impossible for him do it on his own but it meant there was a hidden hand to it. The Bible tells us that the LORD was with Joseph. Only God can cause transformation in our lives. The book of Deuteronomy tells us that we are a cut above the rest so it meant that Joseph was destined to be head. No amount of low ranking jobs could keep him down. God always saw the need to promote him. He came into the house as a slave but God raised him to become an attendant.
Remember that in his dream Joseph was going to head a number of people. There was no way of keeping a good man down. God always raises the standards to an extent that blessings will come through you. You will always be the head and not the tail. Joseph was destined for the top and these minor incidences would have a bearing on what the future would hold for him.
Blessing and promotion kept coming until Satan, in the guise of Potiphar’s wife, took notice. There was something unusual about Joseph. The Bible says, Now Joseph was well built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me” Genesis 39:6-7. There is something unusual about God’s children. They are made in His image and likeness and they are good looking, well built and exceedingly handsome. All this time no one had taken notice of his physical appearance until blessings started to crowd out the house.
What was it that Joseph had which the other slaves, including Potiphar didn’t have? They didn’t have the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel backing them up. They were a common bunch of people with nothing special about them. Joseph was a diamond and was a royal diadem in the hand of God. Joseph was the most handsome man in the house so much that the woman and madam of the house decided to lust after him.
Don’t take your beauty for granted and be careful because the devil wants to derail your progress by coming against you in that regard. Remember that he too was a beauty in the sight of God and that was a major cause of his downfall. Joseph noticed that the enemy was keen on destroying him and he took off at great speed in the process leaving behind his cloak. This was the second time he had to lose his cloak. First it was the coat of many colours now it was his head servant’s cloak. The devil was intent on keeping Joseph naked.
Note well that the enemy will put inviting circumstances in your face to cause you to be drawn in by them and then catch you unawares. Israel had taught his son that sleeping with another man’s wife was bad news. His ancestors had been through such a stage in their pilgrimage. And he knew that God’s Hand would rest heavily against anyone who was found doing this. He chose not to separate what God had enjoined. Mr and Mrs. Were one and Joseph knew that he was unwelcome.
Joseph knew that his master trusted him so much and there was no way he was going to betray his confidence. In life there will be circumstances that will try and lead you to betray other peoples’ confidence but hold on to the example of Joseph and flee from such circumstances. God desires that you don’t act wickedly against Him. No amount of pleading and begging should cause you to give in. Joseph’s tight morals landed him in prison. So does this signal the end of what was turning out to be a holiday in paradise?
IN PHARAOH’S PRISON
Even when he got to prison Joseph found favour in the sight of the jailer and was put in charge of all the prisoners. This young man had leadership qualities par excellence that even in his darkest hour no prison could deny him that opportunity to lead. God’s favour was continually on him all the way and he was given responsibility over everything. Imagine this, a Hebrew slave coming into Egypt and is put in prison and not just an ordinary prison but also a royal one. He was the king’s prisoner and was successful even in that prison.
To those who could foretell there was a hint of greatness coming out from this experience. Imagine this scenario- you are far from your usual environ and things are not going well for you but you seem to be finding favour in the eyes of the most high authority in your prison. Wouldn’t it be great that you started reading into the reason why you are incarcerated in the situation you are? One children’s author said about Joseph’s situation that he prayed to the God of his fathers and left all things in His Hands. The youngster surrendered his will and all to God who was faithful enough to do that which He had promised.
You may be having a negative perception of your current set up but its about time you changed your worldview and begun to look at things from God’s point of view. Remember that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts and as such He knows what’s best for you in that situation. Yes the enemy may have slowed down your ascension to the top but God is getting rid of all the impurities and preparing you to take up to a greater responsibility.
You are a son on a mission with a name that means, “May the LORD add” and that is what He is doing on your behalf. Joseph had sorrows added unto him but did he break down? No! He persevered and hoped in the same LORD that his father had wrestled with at the Jabbok River. He was determined to wrestle with God and overcome as well. If God had done it for Jacob that meant He would do it again in Joseph’s case.
One day, two new prisoners were brought to the prison and they were distraught. They had been in the Pharaoh’s service as chief butler and chief baker respectively. Joseph being the kind-hearted man that he was decided to look into their welfare. The closer they became the easier it was for them to share their problems.
The world today is looking for a people that will look into the welfare of prisoners and see if their spiritual needs are being taken care of. We may see them as criminal elements that deserve to be behind bars but let us take Joseph into consideration. He was innocent yet he was found in prison.
We need to move away from the ideology that all people who are in prison are bad. There are some who are there because they couldn’t afford a lawyer or any other genuine reason you may think of but they are people who need to be heard. Joseph would take time to sit with the prisoners and listen to their cry. He was there by some deceitful means and he was determined to encourage anyone who was in trouble.
Joseph attended to the needs of two particular men as the Bible puts it in Genesis 40:4. These two men each had a dream that was disturbing their thoughts. As he was doing his daily rounds, Joseph noticed something different in the outlook of these two men. They were dejected and so he asked them, ‘Why are your faces so sad today? We both had dreams but there is no one to interpret them.’ Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams’ Genesis 40:7-8.
Wow! Are there no days when you would need someone to ask you why you’re not looking your cheerful self? I know I would because there are days when you’d just love someone to take notice of you. I bet the mere fact that Joseph asked really meant a lot to them. At least someone cared about what was going on in their life.
These two men readily told Joseph their dreams to which he gave them the interpretations. One went away glad and the other was destroyed. True to the interpretations, the butler was killed and the cupbearer restored to his position. But poor Joseph was still in prison. Here was a man helping others yet his own situation was bad.
I believe that Joseph took his time to comfort the baker in his moment of distress. No one had been there for him when he needed a hand and so he was determined to do the best he could do to enable the baker to face his fate. Through the cupbearer, the interpretation and fulfilment of the dream had given a glimmer of hope to Joseph that perhaps he too would be released. But 2 sad and long years would pass by without mention of Joseph.
You could be picturing your own circumstance at this point. You are the man or woman who has always been there for others, helping them as best as you could and then they FORGOT ALL ABOUT YOU. How sad could that be? You are the one who knows your situation better. But did you know that God is still with you? Remember when His disciples and friends who were there for Him deserted Jesus? Wasn’t God there? I believe He was.
There have been times in my own life when I’ve put my all on the line for other people and been the best friend I could be but they went on and forgot about me. But one thing that has encouraged me is that the Holy Spirit is there with me through the experience. His peace has safeguarded my heart and mind and He has given me the guts to hold on. God will encourage you and hold your hand at an hour as this. Don’t give up just yet.
My brother, my sister hope is not lost YET. There is a door that is about to open for you. It may take the 2 years it took for Joseph’s door to be opened, or less or longer but it is going to open. Remember that as a royal priesthood you are not going to be remembered by any commoners but by royalty itself. The Psalmist says that deep calls unto deep but I believe that royalty calls unto royalty.
In due season God will remember you. Paul writing to the Galatians says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 Let us also not give up doing good to those around us because God is not unjust to forget the work and love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.
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