Today's scripture: Genesis 39:1-10 (NASB*)
Now 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. The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So 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. It 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. So 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. It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But 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. There 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?” As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT...
- Joseph has been betrayed by his own family, and has been brought a long distance to be sold into slavery. As he is transferred from the Ishmaelites to the Midianites to Potiphar's household, how do you imagine Joseph is feeling?
- Just a few passages ago, Joseph was gloating to his brothers about his dreams of power. Do you think those dreams would sustain Joseph during this time, or haunt him?
- In the prior chapters, Joseph hasn't shown much leadership ability. And yet in Potiphar's household he almost immediately becomes a trusted servant. What do you think has changed?
- Potiphar's wife tries to entice Joseph to sleep with her. What are Joseph’s stated reasons for refusal?
- How would you feel if you were in Joseph's position, with the spouse of the boss trying to seduce you, and with your job (and life) on the line?
Click here to view the painting Joseph and Potiphar's Wife by Guido Reni (1575-1642). This painting is currently on view at The Getty Center in Los Angeles.
New American Standard Bible (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.