Title: Joseph Used By God to Bless the Nations.
Interpretive Summary: The story of Joseph and his rise to power in Egypt after his brothers sell him into slavery. He is brought to Egypt and is sold to the head of Pharaoh’s guard, Potiphar. However, God is with Joseph giving him success. Joseph quickly rises to a prominent position in the Egyptian’s house.
Several notes on this episode:
1. Joseph was brought to Egypt as a slave. “Though a slave, he accepted his position with cheerfulness, and entered into his new life, doing his duties so well that he soon became overseer in his master’s house.” (Hastings D.D. Page 494.)1 It is remarkable to note the integrity and persistence he must have had. I wonder how he came to have such integrity? Joseph’s father, Jacob, and his brothers were not very good examples. And I can not help but wonder if the experiences in Joseph’s life played a large roll in creating integrity.
2. “And so Joseph found favor in his sight…his personal servant…made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned.” (Genesis 39:4) Joseph was given incredible responsibility and he did not abuse that responsibility. In fact Joseph’s time in Potiphar’s house helped prepare him for God’s plan to use him, to save many, as ruler of Egypt. “Joseph was sold to an officer of Pharoah, with whom he might get acquainted with public persons and public business, and so be fitted for the preferment for which he was designed. What God intends men for He will be sure, some way or other, to qualify them for.” (Henry Page 59.)2
3. “The LORD was with Joseph.”(Genesis 39:2) It can be easily be assumed that by God being with Joseph, God was blessing Joseph. The next part of the verse confirms this assumption by saying: “so he became a successful man.” Genesis 39:3 goes on to say: “Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Potiphar could see the hand of God in Joseph’s life. God continues to affirm with promise to Abraham. Joseph is being both a spiritual blessing and a physical blessing to Potiphar.
4. Joseph quickly rises to a prominent position in the Egyptian’s house. “This is not a story of the success of Joseph; rather it is a story of God’s faithfulness to His promises.” (Gaebelein 234.)3 Abraham was Joseph’s great-great grandfather. And the continuance of God’s promise to Abraham, “And I will make you a great nation… And so you shall be a blessing.”(Genesis 12:2), can be easily seen in the Genesis 39:2-5.
Big Idea: God keeps His promises.
Application: No matter where we go or what happens in our life God is always faithfull. He will use us to fullfill His promises and plans. I am sure that Joseph did not understand why he was sold to Egypt. But through it all Jospeh was faithfull. And even though the Davidic line was carried through Judah, God used Joseph to both save and bless many.
1.James Hastings D.D, Greater Men and Wemon of the Bible, P. 494.
2. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, P. 50.
3. Frank E. Gaebelein, P. 234.