The Life of Joseph - Lesson 12, The profligate conduct of Judah and his family and Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
In Matthew we find the genealogy of Jesus Christ thru Joseph his earthly father going forward from Abraham.
Matthew 1:1-3, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares
And in Luke we find the genealogy of Jesus Christ thru Mary his mother going backwards from Jesse the father of David.
Luke 3:32-33, Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
So twins were born to Tamar, sons of Judah, which God had providentially given to Judah replacing the two sons, Er and Onan, that he had, by judgement, taken away.
The midwife bound a scarlet thread around the hand of Zarah to indicate the first born, however this was not to be.
It is interesting to note that the scarlet thread indicates salvation, for a scarlet thread was the signal to the children of Israel that the house of Rahab was a safe house and was to escape the vengence of God.
Joshua 2:18, Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.
But the births of Pharez and Zarah were unusual for what was expected to be the second child broke out of the womb first.
The midwife exclaimed to the baby Pharez: What a breach you have made for yourself.
It is as though you have broken out of the womb.
You have forged your way through and passed by Zarah.
Therefore the boy was named Pharez which means "he who breaks through."
This boy was destined to become an ancestor to Jesus Christ through both Joseph and Mary and it was because of Tamar's persistence in spite of the faithlessness of Judah that brought this about.
We may think it strange that the Lord Jesus Christ came from such lineage as Tamar who played the harlot, from Rahab who was a harlot.
But is it also strange that he came from the deceivers Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Judah?
Is it not right that he should be mixed up with human sorrow and human sin?
Did he not come as a man of sorrows, a friend of publicans and sinners.
For he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
He spoke in Matthew 21:31,32, to the Pharasee in whom he found no kinship.
Matthew 21:31.32, .... Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
For the publican and the harlot know that they are sinners but the Pharasee knows this not and without this knowing, salvation is far away.
Jesus Christ claims no pure human lineage for there is no pure human lineage.
For Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, in his own self bearing our sins in his body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
If kinship is to be claimed then that kinship is with sinners, sinners like Tamar and Judah and Jacob and Issac and Abraham and sinners like you and like me!
For sinners who cling to Jesus Christ are sinners who know that in themselves there is no good thing that will place them in good stead before a Holy God.
Faith is only expressed by those who know that their need can only be satisfied by One outside themselves.
And we know that that One given of the Father is Jesus Christ!
Read Genesis Chapter 39:
Genesis 39:1, And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar (po-tee-far'), an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
The scripture quickly passes over the events which took place as Joseph was brought from Caanan into Egypt.
He had involuntarily left his brethren, bound as a slave, sold by his brothers for 20 pieces of silver, as far as Jacob knew he was dead, and now he was about to become the property of another.
Joseph most likely passed though customs, checked and rechecked like so much cargo from a foreign land.
He was about to embark on the most exciting adventure that could be imagined.
He had left Caanan simply with dreams and he was now about to live out those dreams.
But before the exaltation there was to come the humbling of the slave market and the life of a slave.
How much am I bid, the slave trader cries. for this strong young man?
Look at his clear eye, his healthy body, his youth!
I'll pay the price cries out a uniformed officer, a captain of Pharaoh's guard.
Record it in the book that Potiphar has bought this slave.
That will be a healthy profit, the slave trader thinks.
He's all yours Potiphar, take him away.
So Joseph, now probably 18 years of age, entered the lowest of the classes, that of slave, now owned by another and bound to do his bidding.
Little did Joseph know that he would be in Egypt for the next eighty plus years and rise to the highest lord of the land.
But testing first, humbling first, before exaltation was to come.
Genesis 39:2, And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
James in Chapter 4 verse 8 instructs us to Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
This is the kind of man Joseph was as it is given in this second verse.
And the LORD was with Joseph.
Joseph chose to draw nigh to God.
Joseph chose to trust God in this situation.
Joseph chose to flee to God for refuge in this circumstance in which he found himself.
No long and sullen face for Joseph, no rebelliousness against where God had brought him.
No senseless criticism of his fate and time consuming hours plotting revenge against his brothers.
No words of cursing left the mouth of Joseph aimed toward God.
Not even a yielding to his fate as a slave and the giving of only that which would get him by.
But we see by the testimony of scripture that Joseph had drawn nigh to God and God was with him.
Joseph had determined in his heart that God had some wise purpose for him in allowing him to be sold as a slave.
For later in Genesis 45:7,8, he revealed his heart to his brothers:
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
Joseph lived the verse that tells us that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect.
God is to be trusted in the dark circumstances and it is to be known that God is the one we are serving in those dark circumstances.
If God wants me to be a slave, I shall be the best slave in Egypt determined Joseph.
For we are told that Joseph was a prosperous man.
This obviously does not mean that he had an abundance of this world's goods for he was a slave.
But this description of Joseph as prosperous means he was a man able to push forward, to break out, to go over, to be good, to be fitting, to be profitable, to prosper!
Joseph was a man not to be stopped by the circumstances in which he found himself.
He did not allow himself to be "under the circumstances" for he was a man able to push forward, able to break out, able to go over.
Circumstances that would cause most to quit were but stepping stones to success for Joseph.
Challenges to be conquered! For he was prosperous!
I shall study my master until I know him better than he knows himself.
I shall study his interests and make them my own.
I shall perform every task given to me, not as unto Potiphar, but as unto the Lord!
For Joseph had determined to exchange the bonds of Potiphar for the bonds of the Lord.
He became as we all should become, he became a bondslave of the Lord and in all his ways strived to please the Lord.
And in pleasing the Lord he was assured to please Potiphar, his master, more than he could ever imagine.
Joseph was loyal, he could be trusted, he worked well with other people, he was a leader, he had creative talent, and he had a way of finding better ways of getting things done
In all these things we know that Potiphar was well pleased and wanted Joseph near him.
He therefore brought Joseph into his house instead of the slave quarters for we are told:
and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
Genesis 39:3-6, And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
It was obvious to Potiphar that there was something different about Joseph.
Most likely Joseph told Potiphar of his faith in Jehovah who had made a covenant with his father and with with his father's fathers.
Perhaps he had told him of his two dreams and of his exile by his brothers.
But we are told plainly that Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph.
That was the difference!
Joseph gave God the glory for any value that he had been in behalf of Potiphar, his master.
Potiphar noticed that everything Joseph touched prospered, and he concluded that it prospered because the Lord was with him.
So Joseph's life brought praise to Jehovah from this high officer in Pharaoh's kingdom and Potiphar wisely decided to allow Joseph to manage all that he had.
This is wise counsel, supervisors, let those who are faithful do their jobs.