God Was With Joseph
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Joseph arrives in Egypt as a slave, rises to a position of prominence, and winds up in prison; yet the Lord is with him in every circumstance. Showing no signs of bitterness in light of his problems, Joseph makes the most out of a difficult situation. He becomes so successful in Egypt that he finds favor in Potiphar’s eyes, is placed in a prominent position, and is the source of blessing to his captors. Despite his faithfulness in public and in private, Joseph finds himself falsely accused of immoral behavior with Potiphar’s wife, and he is sent to prison. Again, Joseph shows no signs of bitterness, and, again, the Lord is with him such that he finds favor in the eyes of the keeper of the prison. This chapter is a reminder that God is with us in our times of deepest need, in our adversity and our prosperity, and especially when facing temptation.
01. God is with us in our adversity and our prosperity, so let us remain faithful by eschewing bitterness, rejecting pride, and doing our duty to God in every circumstance.
02. God is with us in our temptation, so let us resist fervently by recognizing what temptation looks like, calling sin what it really is, and desiring God above all earthly pleasures.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Notice how much information we receive about Joseph and his circumstances in verse 1. What reasons would he have had at this time to become bitter against God? How does his attitude contribute to the direction of his life from this point forward? Are you angry or bitter towards God for things you have been through?
2. Note the connection between Joseph’s work and God’s blessing in verses 2-6. In what ways does the Lord bless Christians in a hostile workplace? How can believers work in such a way that God is glorified in the eyes of unbelievers? Pray that the Lord will help you and others at Northpoint honor the Lord in the workplace.
3. In light of Joseph’s circumstances, and in light of verse 6, what opportunities did Joseph have to accept the offer from Potiphar’s wife? How might he have rationalized his behavior accordingly? What does the text suggest about the ongoing nature of her offers and his resistance (verses 7-10)? Why is it important to flee sin immediately rather than to engage it for a little while?
4. What ultimately led to Joseph rejecting her advances (see verse 9)? Have you thought about sin as an action that is truly “against God”? How does your relationship with the Lord define how you respond to temptation? For a greater example of resisting temptation based on genuine love for God, see Matthew 4:1-11.
5. Notice the reminders that the Lord was with Joseph even while he was in prison (verses 21, 23). Take a moment to pray for people who have been unjustly accused or convicted of crimes, and ask the Lord to make His presence known to all who suffer for doing what is right in His name.
For Further Reading: William Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister (New York: Harper & Bros. 1886); online versions available