Overcoming Our Circumstances Gen
Overcoming Our Circumstances Gen. 39:1-12 EBC 2/3/08
Between Chap. 38 and Chap. 39, we see great changes in Joseph’s life. He has gone from a favorite son to a fellow slave. Instead of wearing the coat of an overseer he wore the coat of a bondman.
Genesis 39 begins the life of Joseph in Egypt. The place he would spend the remainder of his life.
I. The Providence of God in His Circumstances
Arriving in Egypt, Joseph was sold on the slave market to Potiphar, a captain in Pharaoh’s army. We see two things that shaped his future – his warden and his work.
A. His warden
1. V.1- states that Potiphar was the captain of the Kings guard. His job was the protection of the king of Egypt and the punishment of those who were found in the disfavor of the king.
a. Anyone working for Potiphar would easily learn the ins and outs of the Egyptian government.
b. God was carefully training Joseph for the future.
c. Though Joseph’s circumstances looked bleak God was doing this for Joseph’s advantage.
d. This should help those who are in dire circumstances today. Robert Butler- Let the afflicted look on their situations as a school which Divine providence has provided for their good.
B. The work-
1. God was developing Joseph’s character for future service.
2. Character is vital in the service of God. Few things develop character as does lowliness. Humbleness is a requirement for future use.
a. Prov. 15:33-
3. Joseph is going to be promoted to a very high position in the Egyptian government later on in his life; and God is preparing him for it.
4. We should not let our lowly position get us down where we quit. We may feel no one sees us or knows where are but rest assured God knows all about where you are and what you are doing.
II. The Performance of His Duty
The manner in which Joseph conducted himself is quite commendable.
A. The wisdom of Joseph
a. Joseph was not lazy and not show his hurt feelings but worked hard for Potiphar.
b. Joseph worked tirelessly in all he did.
2. Our reaction to adversity will determine whether our troubles will bless or curse us. Robert Butler- Often times it is not our troubles that undo us; rather, it is our unwise reaction to the troubles that ruins us.
B. The welfare of Joseph (39:2)
1. Joseph had lost much but he still had two major things that can’t be underestimated – the presence and prosperity of God
a. Nothing was as important to Joseph as was the presence of God
1. Ex. 33:15- Moses talking
2. God’s presence can make a prison a palace
b. We see Joseph’s prosperity
1. God views prosperity entirely different than we. We judge it in terms of material possessions God judges it in terms of his will.
2. Godly prosperity is when God is with you and is helping you to do your duty with excellence.