Genesis
1-6 Joseph with Potiphar 7-12 Resist the Temptation 13-18 The False Accusation 19-20 Put into the Jail 21-23 Joseph in the Jail
Joseph with Potiphar

1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. 3Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and [how] the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. 5It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD’S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. 6So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him [there] he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Just as Joseph is among his brothers in Genesis 37, so he is among the nations here. He is also rejected by them and ends up in prison. Thus is the Lord Jesus rejected by His people and by the peoples (Acts 4:2727For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,).

While Joseph serves as a slave in the house of Potiphar, the LORD is with him. We read these words several times. This is also recorded of the Lord Jesus (Acts 10:3838[You know of] Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and [how] He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.). If God is with you, what do the circumstances matter? Our problem is that we often only see the circumstances and are guided by them in our feelings. But if we are aware that God is for us, what can frighten us about the things that are against us (Rom 8:3131What then shall we say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [is] against us?)? All that Joseph does, all that he comes into contact with, is blessed. This is also the case with the Lord Jesus, Who in His walk on earth has only spread blessing around him. How is that with us?

Joseph is “handsome in form and appearance”. His whole appearance and the radiance of his face are beautiful and in harmony with his performance. His outward reflects the spiritual beauty of his inner being. This also applies to the Lord Jesus, with Whom faith perceives a glory as the glory of the only begotten from the Father (Jn 1:1414And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.). This beauty of form and prestige is also perceptible for faith when it is has to be said of Him externally: “His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men” (Isa 52:1414Just as many were astonished at you, [My people],
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
), and: “He has no [stately] form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him” (Isa 53:2b2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no [stately] form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
).


Resist the Temptation

7It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” 8But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me [here], my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. 9There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” 10As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her [or] be with her. 11Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. 12She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.

Satan is doing everything possible to bring down this clear representative of the LORD. In Potiphar’s wife he has a suitable and willing instrument. She looks with desire at Joseph. Again sin begins with seeing (Gen 38:2,15-162Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her.15When Judah saw her, he thought she [was] a harlot, for she had covered her face.16So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “Here now, let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”). She wants to seduce the handsome Joseph to fornication. But Joseph refuses to accept her offerings. He has the strength to do this through his constant contact with God.

Through his contact with God, he is aware of the great trust his lord has in him and he does not want to abuse that trust. He knows in his position that there is no one greater in the house than he is. Such a position is a reason for many people to seek their own interests, but not for Joseph. He knows the responsibility that goes with his position and acts accordingly. Then you are really great.

Also, through his relationship with God, the blessing promised by him stands before his attention. This blessing – promised to him by God in his dreams– he does not give in for a temporary enjoyment of sin with an oh so bitter aftertaste.

His defense lies in realizing how horrible sin, and especially this sin of fornication (1Cor 6:1818Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.), is to God: “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (verse 99There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”). God, Who helps him so much, and blesses him so much, will he sin against Him? If the proofs of the constant goodness of God, the greatest of which is the gift of His Son, are more in our minds, we will also have more strength to resist temptation of any kind.

And don’t think the woman tries it only once. It says that she speaks “to Joseph day after day”. Again and again Joseph said: ‘No.’ You have to have spiritual strength to do this. Joseph is an ordinary young man, with ordinary, natural feelings, also sexually. He is also a slave, someone who only has to obey. But this is about the temptation to sin. Whatever a superior asks of us, we will have to do, except in the case of sin, to perform actions that go against God’s Word. In such cases, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:2929But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.).

Then there comes a moment when the woman seizes her chance. There is none in the house except her and Joseph . Joseph does not seek danger; he is in the house to do his work (verse 1111Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.). If the woman wants to force him to go to bed with her, Joseph puts Paul’s call in 1 Corinthians 6 into practice: “Flee immorality! (1Cor 6:18a18Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.). He leaves his garment in her hand and flees outside. You better lose your garment than a good conscience.

The example of Joseph can be taken to heart by all young people, especially those who, for example, can no longer live at home due to their study. It then comes down to the choices that are made. It must start with an inner conviction: ‘Even if the whole world sins, I at least do not.’ So Joseph says it as it were.

The real power to say ‘no’ to sin lies in having a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and obedience to God’s Word. If that is found, temptation will not be sought, and if he comes, he will be parried properly. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping [it] according to Your word” (Psa 119:99How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping [it] according to Your word.
).


The False Accusation

13When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. 15When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.” 16So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. 17Then she spoke to him with these words, “The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; 18and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.”

The woman cannot be trusted in her marriage. Nor does she see any point in turning things around completely. She is degraded, but she wants an axe to grind. Joseph will have to pay for his refusal to satisfy her lusts. Sinful love always changes into hatred.

The woman keeps Joseph’s garment with her. It must serve as proof of the accuracy of her story. It is the second time that a Joseph robe is used as ‘evidence’ for twisting facts to cover a crime (Gen 37:31-3331So they took Joseph’s tunic, and slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood;32and they sent the varicolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please examine [it] to [see] whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”33Then he examined it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!”).

People who want to make ‘love’ like this woman, are in reality the most ruthless people walking around. John the baptist was also thrown into prison and finally beheaded because a woman, Herodias, could not stand him and his preaching. This Herodias also lives in a relationship that is to be condemned and John did so (Mk 6:17-18,24,2717For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.18For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”24And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”27Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded [him] to bring [back] his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison,).


Put into the Jail

19Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. 20So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.

Potiphar in his reaction looks like the indifferent Pilate. The man believes his wife. What else can he do? If he believes Joseph’s story, it is at the expense of his prestige. Once again Joseph is the object of terrible iniquity, against which he cannot defend himself. Without a thought he is put into the jail.

He undergoes what the Lord Jesus also underwent. “They laid hands on Him and seized Him” (Mk 14:4646They laid hands on Him and seized Him.); they tried “to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death” (Mt 26:5959Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.). Pilate testifies of Him: “I find no guilt in this man” (Lk 23:44Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.”), yet he “handed Him over to them to be crucified” (Jn 19:1616So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.).


Joseph in the Jail

21But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. 22The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible [for it]. 23The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.

It seems as if faithfulness only gives misery. But the LORD will teach Joseph, and also us, that the place of the deepest humiliation is necessary to come to the greatest glory. The jail, the place of rejection and humiliation, becomes a place where the blessing of the LORD is experienced (Psa 105:17-1917He sent a man before them,
Joseph, [who] was sold as a slave.
18They afflicted his feet with fetters,
He himself was laid in irons;
19Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the LORD tested him.
). There too is the LORD with Joseph.

Joseph is also faithful in his humiliation. Therefore the LORD gives him “favor” in the sight of the chief jailer. In the jail, he gets to care for all the prisoners. This makes him a source of blessing for all who are there.

Joseph receives strength to endure this new trial by thinking of what the LORD has shown him in his dreams about the future. We too receive strength as we look forward to the coming of the Lord. “Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength” (Isa 40:3131Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up [with] wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
). His faithfulness in the jail is a preparation for his government later. David also has much hardship to endure before he becomes king of Israel.


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