This week’s sermon Scripture Genesis 39.
FB Meyer in his character profile about Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat asks, “Would you rather, like Joseph, be living in difficult circumstances with a clear confidence or like Joseph’s brothers; successful but with blood on your hands and guilt in your heart?”
This week’s sermon points out that Joseph made a difficult situation a success. Forced into slavery by his brothers, he went to work in a strange land and produced success for his boss, Potiphar. Potiphar saw Joseph’s success and also Joseph’s partnership with God. It was clear to a non-believer that Joseph took his marching orders from his God.
Joseph also experienced the prospect that success can create temptations. The temptress in this story was Potiphar’s wife and she doesn’t even get her name mentioned. But it is clear in the telling that she was bored by the success found in affluence. Though she had everything she wanted, she cannot keep her hands off Joseph. She wanted him as a plaything. Joseph resisted the seduction but was forced to flee without his coat. Again. The coat became the evidence used against him and he was thrown, yet again, into a pit. This time with other prisoners. Do you see it? The only one virtuous and faithful was the one who was punished. Bad things do happen to good people.
Finally, Psalm 105 reminds us that although Joseph ended up in the pit, there was a promise in the making. The Scripture says in vs 18 that as a result of his imprisonment, “iron came into his soul.” Joseph, even in the most bleak of moments, was being sustained and strengthened for some future calling. A calling that would be more demanding. It was in this moment of difficulty that he received the constitution that he needed for future success.