Meditation: Genesis 39

Reading: Genesis 39

This chapter describes the rise and fall of Joseph. By the Lord’s blessing Jacob is made overseer of Potiphar’s house. However, through sinful actions of Potiphar’s wife Joseph lands in jail. But there the same thing happens. Through the Lord’s mercy Joseph becomes the jail’s manager. Clearly, God has given impressive management and leadership abilities to Joseph.


What is the Lord doing? The church (Jacob’s family) is threatened by external and internal danger. At Shechem the family, living too close to unbelievers, falls into idolatry (35:2). Through the Dina incident they become an enemy to the local Canaanite population. The brothers hate Joseph and sell him to Egypt; there is division among the brothers – for example, Reuben tries to save Joseph; the brothers deceive father Jacob; Jacob will not be consoled (Gen 37:35) which shows his faith weak. Judah left the family. The situation is very serious. If there are no radical changes there soon will be no church, and the road to Jesus Christ will come to an end.


The LORD is faithful; he remembers His covenant promises.  He sets out to repair the church, first by sending Joseph to Egypt and preparing him for a vital role in rescuing the church. But the events are like a puzzle for us. Why is Joseph humiliated by being sold as a slave, then elevated in Potiphar’s house and then sent to jail? God, by wonderful wisdom beyond human  understanding, leads his church not only to safety but also to a future we could not imagine.


In His wisdom God also allows His people to suffer.  In our suffering we must remember the grace of God. Let this grace, shown so vividly through Jesus Christ’s death for our sins and the promise of eternal life, sweeten the cup of our suffering. In this way we will continue to be thankful to God, even in our suffering.


Key Verse: Genesis 39:2 and 3.  “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.”


Question: As a child of God how do you deal with suffering in your life?