Genesis 39 – Strange Lands, Yet Not Alone


Remember Genesis 37? Towards the end of that chapter, Joseph was sold to Ishmaelite traders who sent him to Egypt. Well this chapter is the continuation of Joseph’s experience in the foreign land. How would you feel if you were sold as a slave to people whom you don’t know? Could you imagine how it must feel? We will learn that even when things seem to go wrong, God has a plan for those who love and listen to Him.


1 When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned.5 From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the LORD began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. 6 So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat! Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, 7 and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. 8 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9 No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” 10 She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.11 One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. 12 She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. 13 When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, 14 she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.” 16 She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.17 Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. 18 “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”

19 Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her.20 So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.21 But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.22  Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.


Ever been tempted? Picture this: someone gives you have everything that you could possible imagine with the exception of your phone that sits in the counter, if you reach for it you lose everything. Your phone was the exception because the one who gave you everything knew that if you had your phone you wouldn’t be able to enjoy everything else he gave you. Sound familiar? Yes, this happened to Adam and Eve. They had Heaven’s gates open and because they fell into the temptations of Satan we lost those special privileges. However, our blessed hope is in Jesus who came to die for our sins and reestablished the doorway to get to the Father. Another example is Joseph, who was trusted with everything in Potiphar’s house except his wife. Joseph knew that sleeping with his master’s wife is a sin against God. Therefore, he tried to avoid her as much as possible (vs. 10) but she just kept bugging him. That happens often to us. We know to stay away from something, yet it keeps tempting us. However, we can ask God to give us peace in our hearts and strength to surpass any tests of faith. A difficult situation may be unpleasant to experience, but with God on your side it may be turn into a blessing.

Reread verse 2! It’s clear that God was with Joseph and made him a successful man. God never forgot about him or thought less of Joseph. Instead God blessed him so that Joseph can bless the people around him (vs. 5). It’s one thing to be blessed by God, another to be able to share your blessing to others and bless them as well. Again when Joseph is put to jail because of false accusations verse 21 says that “the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.” God saw for a second time the traps others put Joseph in and interceded for him. When God has a plan for you, nothing can stop him but yourself. He can make everything work out for the best for you, but only if you let him. Then you will be blessed and praise His name for the things He has done for you! Do you want to bless others or be blessed by the hand of God? Trust him, have a personal talk with him through prayer and let him know. I can assure you His ear is always ready to listen and that He will respond at the right moment.

Dear Lord, my prayer this morning is that you may bless each one of us. Father, help us to share the blessings you have given us to those around us. Thank you for your care and love throughout this time, keep us all safe as we go to school and our jobs. We trust that you want the best for each one of us and we wish to stay out of your way so that you can do what you love best, to see your children blessed.

In Jesus Christ name, Amen

Alejandra Zepeda

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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