This is a weekly guest devotion written by my mother, Estelene. Each week she shares with us scripture and a short devotion to encourage us.
Have you ever been accused of doing something of which you were innocent? It can be extremely frustrating, especially when you must bear the punishment. I think about those who spend many years in prison for a crime they did not commit. How awful that must be. My heart goes out to them. Those years can’t be given back.
That is exactly what happened to Joseph. He was innocent of an immoral act, yet he paid the price as though he was guilty. I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s get right to our scripture.
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants, “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Joseph survived the long journey to Egypt. He was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials. A catastrophic event was going to occur in the future, and God placed in motion a plan that would save the lives of many. God used Joseph as his instrument to carry out his plan.
The Lord blessed Joseph in everything he did. It was evident to Potiphar that God was not only blessing Joseph but he too was being blessed because of Joseph.
But this handsome young man caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife. Even though she attempted to allure Joseph into her bed, he resisted. We all face temptations, but it is how we react to those temptations that count. It can be very costly. We need to follow Joseph’s example. He evaluated the situation and remembered how blessed he had been. Then he asked her why he would consider committing such a wicked act that would cause him to sin against God. It would be wise for you to ask yourself if your reaction or response to any temptation would be sinning against God before following through with it.
Joseph did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but it landed him in prison. Potiphar’s wife was going to make Joseph pay for refusing to sleep with her. What she meant for harm, God used for the good of many. Even though Joseph was thrown into prison, God was with him. Joseph found favor in the eyes of the prison warden and was placed in charge of everything that took place inside the prison.
Next week we will continue our study of Joseph while he was in prison. God was not through with him yet. Join me next week to see how God moved through the life of Joseph.