Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday, January 13th: Genesis 38-40 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 38-40

In our reading today I want to focus on chapter 39, and in particular the character and integrity of Joseph. Joseph had a few major setbacks in his young life, he was almost murdered by his own brothers and then was sold to foreigners, who took him to a far away place.

But we see twice in this chapter how Joseph, with the help and guidance of God, was built back up by gaining the trust of those around him.

In verse 4:"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"

After this, Joseph faced some false charges and was thrown into jail, but again God was with him and he gained the trust of those above him. Verse 21: the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden

Again we see in verse 22 and 23 how things worked out for Joseph,

"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"

These setbacks that Joseph faced, without the help of God, would be enough to destroy any of us. I admire the character that Joseph shows time and time again. Earlier in chapter 37 Joseph has dreams sent from God that indicate what His plans are for Joseph, I'm not sure if Joseph understood fully, but he knew that there was something greater that would be happening in the future.

Do we let setbacks derail us permanently? Or even temporarily? Some of us have had to deal with major setbacks like deaths or family breakdowns, does this mean God's plan for us is over at these horrible tines in our lives? God loves us and has a plan for our lives too, as long as we're breathing God has a purpose for us here on earth. Let's continue to pray for ourselves and others who are going through dark times, God is in charge and at work in our lives.

Later in chapter 39 we see how Joseph, with the help of God, helps two other inmates, who go on to forget him... another setback... followed by a massive turnaround for the better.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 41-42


Conrad said...

I found it interesting that Joseph's coat of many colours is what was used to "prove" to Jacob that Joseph was dead, and his cloak was used to "prove" that he attempted to go to bed with Potiphar's wife.

Conrad said...

Joseph is like a cat in that he seems to always land on his feet. Even when he endures hardship he has a positive attitude and God blesses him and the others he is with because of his faithfulness.

Like Nathan said, God has a plan for our lives and He is always working it. We need to be sure that we are giving God total control over the situation He has placed is in.

TammyIsBlessed said...

It's amazing to me how much integrity Joseph shows in our passage, particularly since what we knew about him before this wasn't great. But it seems that God transformed Joseph and his youthful pride, as he became a man willing to be obedient no matter the cost. In fact, aside from his youthful arrogance, he seems to be by far the most honorable of the of the leaders of Israel.

Miriam said...

Very good points about the character of Joseph. What I love about Joseph's story is how God works things together that seem at the time to be bad things and turns them into great things - both for Joseph and for His glory. It is so comforting to know that God can see the whole journey of our lives, and how everything affects everything else, even though all we see is what is right in front of us.

Pamela said...

I found this that I thought was very interesting because at first I thought I had clicked on the wrong passage knowing that the story of Joseph had just started. (taken from

Genesis 38 is like a parenthesis in the story of Joseph, which begins in Genesis 37 and continues in Genesis 39. Again we might wonder -- why did God interrupt the account of faithful Joseph with the sordid account of Judah’s sin? Let us suggest two reasons, although there may be more.
One reason might be to show us why God led the people of Israel down to live in Egypt -- where they would eventually beome slaves! Why would God allow His chosen people to end up in bondage in a foreign land?
In Genesis 38:2, we see that Judah married a pagan Canaanite. We know from Scripture, and archaeology backs it up, that the Canaanites were very idolatrous and immoral people. If God had not brought Jacob and his family down to Egypt, Judah’s intermarriage with a pagan woman would have been repeated many times by Abraham’s descendants. Thus God’s chosen people would no longer have been distinctively Jewish, and the faith of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, would have been contaminated and polluted with the idolatry and the immorality of the Canaanites. The Egyptians detested the Hebrews (Genesis 43:32; Genesis 46:34), so In Egypt there was very little intermarriage. Living in Egypt, the nation of Israel was actually sheltered from contamination by the idolatry and immorality of the Canaanites!
A second reason why Genesis 38 is included in the Joseph story is that the sad story of Judah and Tamar magnifies the faith and the faithfulness of Joseph. Joseph’s faith in God and his outstanding moral character are highlighted and enhanced in contrast to the lack of faith and immoral character of Judah.
This, by the way, is a structural motif that is used throughout the book of Genesis. Abel’s faith is contrasted to the lack of faith of Cain. Abraham’s faith is contrasted to the lack of faith of Lot. Jacob’s faith is contrasted to the lack of faith of Esau. And here, Joseph’s faith is highlighted and contrasted to the lack of faith of Judah. The story of Judah and Tamar magnifies the faith of Joseph.

danae said...

In Genesis 39 we see the statement "the Lord was with him (Joseph)" 3 times. These examples were in both the good & the bad. Like Nathan said, isn't good to know that God is always with us.

Something I found interesting in chapter 40 & considering what my "cheat" notes say about the verse...In yesterday's reading, Joseph had dreams that he proudly shared with his family, using them to make himself look good. In Gen 40:8, when the subject of dreams came up, he immediately focused everyone's attention on God & used it as a powerful witness for the Lord.