Joseph is Sent to Prison

It was a stormy night in Birmingham, England, and Hudson Taylor was to speak at a meeting at the Seventh Street schoolroom. His hostess assured him that nobody would attend on such a stormy night, but Taylor insisted on going. “I must go even if there is no one but the doork … More

Faithfulness

The emphasis of this passage is clear. God has turned an intended evil against Joseph into a good. God was with Joseph and prospered his way. Behind the course of events is the lesson that all the terrible things that happened in Joseph’s life teaches: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” Gen. 50:20). Like Daniel during the Exile, Joseph suffered for doing what was right, but God turned the evil into a blessing. Joseph learned not to think of himself as a victim, but as a child of God.

As could be expected Potiphar became very angry and had Joseph placed in a prison where the king’s prisoners were kept (vv. 19-20). John MacArthur says, “The death penalty for adultery may not have applied to a charge of attempted adultery, attempted seduction or rape, so Potiphar consigned Joseph to the prison reserved for royal servants.” The prison may have been a dark, filthy place with no fresh air nor sunshine. He possibly was bound with heavy chains on his feet so that he could not move without it hurting him. However, Joseph did not complain. He knew that God was with him taking care of him and it wasn’t long till others knew it too.

The keeper of the prison learned that he could trust Joseph so he put him in charge of all the prisoners (vv. 21-22). The Warden completely trusted Joseph with everything that was in the prison, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did (v. 23).

Joseph had been put in prison for doing right and now God was watching over him as he went through this test. This is one of the most exciting truths in Scripture of how God faithfully demonstrates His loyalty to His people. God had saved Joseph and now He was giving him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 

This story is similar to the advice given frequently in Proverbs by King Solomon. It is so foolish to yield to the temptations of a flirting woman or man and ruin the prospects of a life of service to God. Joseph refused to throw away God’s blessing for the pleasures of sin. He knew that God would ultimately honor him as He had promised. It is evident that God was with Joseph and prospered his way. Like Daniel during the Exile, Joseph suffered for doing what was right, but God turned the evil into a blessing. Joseph learned not to think of himself as a victim, but as a child of God.

Application

When I make positive and difficult decisions to live according to God’s standards I can be sure that He will remain faithful to me and meet my needs. If I ever have to go through some kind of severe suffering I hope and pray that I can maintain a good attitude and honor the Lord in what I say and what I do.   

Genesis 39:19-23 (English Standard Version)

As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, "This is the way your servant treated me," his anger was kindled. 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. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

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