Joseph’s Journey – How Low Can He Go? Slavery – Genesis 39

by Jim on June 5, 2013


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #049  – 6-5-13

By Rev. Jim W. Hollis, Executive Director of Proactive Ministries –

Hello and welcome back to the blog and podcast for our forty-ninth episode.  I know if you are back for this one you must be deeply committed member of our community that we are building around this podcast, or brand new –  because in our last episode (#048) we began to delve into the Journey of Joseph in the book of Genesis.  We started his story in Genesis, Chapter 37 and walked with him through the complete disintegration of this family and his being nearly murdered by his own half-brothers, who choose rather than to kill him decided to sell him into slavery.  This was not out of any moral conviction, but they saw a way to not only get rid of him permanently but to make some money on it as well.  I am not going to be discussing Genesis 38, which is a divergence from Joseph’s story – which you may want to read yourself.

So we saw poor Joseph bring locked in chains by the slave traders and dragged away a sold man.  The “coat of many colors” that his Father, Jacob had given him, which his brothers had come to hate – was ripped up by his them and a story made up with goat’s blood on it that an animal had devoured Joseph.  This threw the Father into the deepest mourning and depression.  We pick up today with:

Genesis, Chapter 39

We continue to follow Joseph, now slave, in his journey toward an easily predicted fate of doom.

If you have your Bible I invite you to turn to the book of Genesis, Chapter 39 as we work our way through Chapter 39.  Text for this is below from the New Revised Standard Version:

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife (Genesis 39, NRSV)

Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 10 And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. 11 One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, 12 she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14 she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husbandhas brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; 15 and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.” 16 Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; 18 but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.”

19 When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, “This is the way your servant treated me,” he became enraged. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. 22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.*************************************************************************************************************************

Your being part of our podcast today is a great encouragement and blessing to us all.  As we have worked through this next chapter in the story of Joseph, who walked with God, that you are encouraged that God is always with us, for us and available to strengthen us beyond what we could ever imagine.

All during the preparation of this Episode I have felt in my heart that there would be listeners who are living in some horrific family conditions – if you could call it “family” at all.  There are times in our lives where we feel life just could not be any worse and we wonder out loud, “Oh God, how low can I go?”  But our God is able and willing to bring good, joy and blessing out of any evil and darkness.  God is not the cause of evil or sin, because in God is no darkness at all.

We will see as we continue to follow the journey of Joseph, that God can bring wonderful things out of circumstances that would bring death and destruction without God’s Grace intervening.  So wherever you may find your life today, be encouraged.  God loves us.  And God is working to bring good in the midst of some hard circumstances.  Look up, listen to your heart and feel God’s love with you today!

I want to also encourage each of you to share this ministry podcast with others you know.  They can receive it at:

You can also email me at:

Our offices in Smyrna, GA are one place you can reach me or another of our wonderful Staff to pray with you, encourage you or help you think through what solutions may be for your ministry or your congregation.  Please feel free to call me or another one of our Staff: (770) 803-9988.

Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you.  May God make his countenance to shine upon you and give you peace.



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