Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Genesis 39:23


When we left off on Monday, Joseph was in a bad spot. Potiphar's wife was hot after Joseph and despite his refusal she wasn't taking no for an answer. So she cornered him and he ran. As he ran away from her advances, she had hold of his robe and it was left behind.
Poor Joseph!
Joseph did the right thing but circumstances are such that Mrs. Potiphar doesn't take rejection well and she cries rape, using Joseph's robe as proof that he was with her.
When Potiphar hears about the Mrs. accusations he throws Joseph in jail.
So once again Joseph finds himself in tossed away.
39:20  And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
I heard Chuck Swindall say that that word prison was from a Hebrew word that translates dungeon.
Dungeon reminds me of the pit his brothers threw him in- both cases he is thrown in unfairly but there it is.
Scripture tells us in the next verse
(21) But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
There it is again! The Lord was with Joseph! And that brings us to my verse for today:

 Genesis 39:23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him.
I don’t know about you but this is hard for me to get my mind around. I really struggle with what is fair. Logically I know life isn’t fair, but I really want it to be (sort-of).
I know someone who was unjustly convicted of a crime and sent to prison. During this time I was so angry at the miscarriage of justice I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I wasn’t a believer at the time. This part of Joseph’s story reminds me of my friend.
It also brings to mind a documentary I saw some time back and I cannot shake this man’s story. Michael Morton was convicted of killing his wife and sent away for life. His story is heartbreaking and full of unexplainable hope. He spent 25 years in prison. Over those 25 years, he loses contact with his son, who was told his father killed his mother, and he grows bitter. Then he has an encounter with God while he is in prison that changes him.
So what is it that allowed Joseph to succeed in prison? What prevented the seeds of bitterness to take hold in my friend? And what changed Michael Morton after years of anger and bitterness?
The answer to all of those questions is twofold.
First they all either had a relationship with God or developed a relationship with God. Second, they all had an attitude that was free from victim mindset and bitterness.
The Bible tells us adversity will come.
Will we walk through it knowing God is with us?
Will we believe it and act accordingly?
Joseph did.
Can you put yourself in Joseph’s shoes and then ask yourself would you still behave like you are living in God’s promise for your life?
I don’t know about you, but this is so hard for me.
It is something I can’t stop thinking about.  
The remainder of the portion today (chapter 40) finds Joseph meeting with two guys who need their dream interpreted. Joseph tells the cupbearer that in 3 days he will be restored to his office. The news wasn’t as good for the baker. Joseph told him that in 3 days he will be hung on a tree. Joseph asked that the cupbearer remember him. Things happened just as Joseph said and the cupbearer did not remember him. Some commentaries speak of this as painting a picture of Jesus. They liken the cupbearer and baker to the two that were crucified with Jesus. I have the feeling I will study this over and over and discover something new each and every time.
For next time read Chapter 41:1-46

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