November 6, 2022
“Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was...”
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“Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.” Genesis 40:2-3
At the beginning of Genesis 39, Joseph rose to the head of Potiphar’s household. Potiphar was the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. The middle of chapter 39 details a false sexual harassment accusation, landing Joseph in prison. But by the end of chapter 39, Joseph rises again to a position of leadership. He is still in prison but a leader, nonetheless.
Having said all that, the beginning of chapter 40 indicates that the prison where Joseph was held was Potiphar’s own home…“the house of the captain of the guard.”
If somebody made a pass at my wife, the last thing I would want is to keep him in my basement at home! Compound that with the knowledge that Joseph’s former boss was the captain of the guard! It would have been nothing for Potiphar to kill Joseph, yet he allowed Joseph to stay. Why?
There are many answers. The obvious answer is that God’s providence protected, preserved, and prospered Joseph. But what would Potiphar’s logic have been? Maybe, Potiphar needed a sharp man running his prison, no matter how soiled his character may have been. Perhaps Potiphar knew his wife was unfaithful but didn’t want to publicly accuse Joseph or his wife. That would cause a scandal that might damage his reputation. It could have been that Joseph had charisma and an indispensable way with money!
God probably used a myriad of factors to get Joseph to Potiphar’s home and keep him there. Why? For the simple reason that God had redemption plans for His people, Israel. Obviously, Joseph was a leadership triple threat: Great looks, shrewd stewardship skills, and the gifts of prophecy & interpretation. They were all gifts from God, which, in some circumstances, led Joseph into trouble. Joseph may have even cursed them all at specific points in his life. But since they were gifts from the Lord, they ultimately had a Kingdom purpose, and Joseph discovered that he NEEDED them all.
Joseph needed to be a slave to prove himself a good steward in Potiphar’s home. He needed to be attractive so that he could be accused and imprisoned. He needed to be imprisoned to interpret dreams…on the list goes. Our directive is not to figure out God’s plan but to honor His Name in all circumstances He places us in, trusting His leading. (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
Every step of our journeys is a destination of sorts, yet God leads us onward. Wherever God led, Joseph glorified Him. Don’t waste your time focusing on “arriving.” Find joy in the journey of trusting God. He is with you, knows everything you are going through, has the power to affect change, and has the wisdom to know when & how. And He has an unchanging character. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 Romans 8:28)