The Life of Joseph - Lesson 14, Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
Genesis 39:13-18, And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
Genesis 39:19,20, And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
Potiphar's wrath was kindled when he was told of the accusation of his wife.
But why didn't Potifar simply have Joseph put to death?
Possibly he was not taken in fully by his wife's story.
Perhaps his wife had a history of this kind of thing with servants of the household.
Perhaps other servants had hinted to him of what was taking place.
At any rate Potifar spared Joseph's life, the second time Joseph was saved from death.
So for the second time Joseph was imprisoned for being faithful to his master.
In both cases his garment was used in the false report.
He knew that God had saved him when his brothers placed him in the pit and he knew that God could deliver him also from this imprisonment.
Knowing the character of Joseph what can we predict about this imprisonment?
No need to predict for what happens is revealed in the next verse.
Genesis 39:21, But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
We are told in Psalm105:17-19, He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters (a chain for the feet): he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
The Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy.
But Joseph in the early days of his imprisonment was bound in iron and his feet were hurt with fetters.
Amplified Bible: His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron. Until his word to his cruel brothers came true, until the word of the Lord tried and tested him.
This means that his fetters hurt his mind as well as his body as he lay imprisoned but this was part of his trying and testing when the time came for his dreams to be lived out to his brothers.
But even in this pain and suffering Joseph kept his testimony to the point that he found favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
He did not revile his oppressors, he did not offend those who kept him in chains.
He was as the Lord Jesus Christ was as Isaiah recorded in:
Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:
Had Joseph become bitter we'd not have been surprised but instead adversity made him kind and tender and the more he was afflicted the more his heart filled with grace.
It is impossible for a man to continue to be hurt in the soul if the Lord is with him.
But what would Job's friends Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite say of Joseph?
What sin have you done Joseph, to cause you who claimed righteousness, to be in such straights, to be in prison?
Nothing good has happened to you!
You lost your mother, your brothers hate and despise you and sold you into Egypt, you have been accused of being a seducer and now you lie in fetters and your neck is in irons.
You must be a great sinner!
But as Job was tested so was Joseph being tested that he might come forth as gold and prepare a place for God to raise up a great nation to bring forth his son the redeemer.
God's plans are so far above any minor tragedy we may face.
Paul caught this truth in Philippians 3:8, Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
But in this dark hour God's faithfulness showed through.
The jailor came to appreciate and trust him
For: the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Genesis 39:22,23, And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
Potiphar's loss was the jailer's gain.
Potifar was now having to look after all that he had but the jailer could now relax because the Lord was with Joseph and blessed all that he did in the prison.
Joseph's testimony broke the chains and the irons.
A good man will do good wherever he is, and will be a blessing even in bonds and banishment.
Joseph could have kicked against his bindings thinking that of his own self he could loose them.
But by kicking against the training that God intended for him he would have lost the opportunity to be the second ruler over all of Egypt and have lost the privilege of preparing a place for Israel.
Joseph was in God's training school.
The curriculum in God's training school is given in:
1 Peter 2:18-23, Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Joseph trusted in God and yielded himself to God and testified of God by his testimony and God loosed him that he may serve him.
Joseph was given charge of all the prisoners and directed all that they did.
If the work was in the fields, Joseph directed it.
If the work was in the prison Joseph told them what to do.
Because the: .... the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
Joseph won the confidence of the other prisoners as we'll soon see by the trust that the baker and the butler placed in him.
No doubt he was touched with the feelings of their infirmities.
No doubt Joseph soon had a ministry in that prison and instead of him looking at himself as a prisoner he looked at himself as a servant and a minister of God.
He knew that it all depended upon his attitude.
We see in this experience of Joseph that dedication to the calling of God will enable the servant of God to resist temptation.
A higher plane that I have found, Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
Joseph lived this calling and it enabled him to resist temptation for he knew that God had much more for him to do.
Through this experience of Joseph we see Jesus, who suffered being tempted, yet without sin; who was slandered, and persecuted, and imprisoned, but without cause; who by the cross ascended to the throne.