Faithlife Sermons

The Favored Slave

Joseph  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Being favored by God does not mean that you will not have major problems in life or that people will not hurt you



Genesis 37:36 NASB95
Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.
Moses closes chapter 37 establishing that Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
This was no ordinary person who bought Joseph.
Joseph’s live had changed.
From favored son to slave
From Canaan to Egypt
To the outside spectator things look bad
Genesis 39:1 NASB95
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.
Anytime the bible repeats something it is because God is calling our attention to that something.

What is God calling our attention to?

That He is ultimately in control.
Romans 8:28 (NASB95)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I want you to highlight that text.

Note the following

God causes all things to work together for good

It does not matter what happens to us, God can transform your misery into something useful

To those who love God

You have to be in a loving relationship with God.

This is not a generic blessing

it does not relieve us from our responsibility of making good decisions

God’s plan accounts for every possible circumstance

To those who are called

This is not a promise for unbelievers.

This is a promise for those who are called.

So Moses highlights that Joseph is sold to Potiphar and details who this man was.
An officer of Pharaoh
Captain of the Guard
An Egyptian -
You get the sense that this Potiphar is someone who is close to Pharaoh.
Indeed, the general thought is that he was the captain of the royal guard.
He might even have been in charge of executing royal prisoners
From a human perspective, Joseph is just a poor man sold into slavery
But from God’s perspective he is being called!
Men may think it was luck that landed Joseph in Potiphar’s house.
But it was God who orchestrated this.
Notice verse 2
Genesis 39:2 NASB95
The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
God was with Joseph!
He was a foreigner - God was with him
He was a slave - God favored him
His siblings had rejected him and sold him like cattle - But God was with him!
Psalm 118:22 NASB95
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
We are still early in the story but next week we will see how Joseph became that stone that God would use to fulfill his promise to Abraham.
For now I want you to remember that
When others discount you,
Remember the God who called you
Remember your love for him
Remember that “he makes all things new”
Many confuse God’s favor with worldly success.
it is true that often they intersect
But success by the world standards is by no means what God desires for you
The other thing that many have trouble with is the time it takes to become successful.
Genesis 39:3 NASB95
Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.
This took time
Joseph was a slave that had to prove himself
he was not trying to climb the slaves ladder to success
He was being faithful to God in everything he did
washing the dishes
removing the manure from the horse stall
Whatever Joseph did he did it for god’s glory
the apostle Paul understood this principle and even admonished the slaves in Colossa
Colossians 3:23 NASB95
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
He was talking to slaves!
So often we won’t even do that for those who employ us.
It takes a different mentality
You cant be focused on yourself like our culture is constantly telling you to do
For us to be like Joseph, to work as for the Lord we need a perspective of the divine
we need to move from a humanistic to a theistic perspective of life
That was Joseph’s secret to success
Because he was faithful to God, he found favor in his masters eyes
Genesis 39:3–4 NASB95
Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.
We don’t know how long it took for Joseph to be noticed. Months, maybe years.
From the time he was sold to the time he becomes the regent in Egypt, we have a span of 13 years
So it is obvious that God was not in a rush
He needed to train His servant
So Joseph is enjoying his success when trouble strikes again
Just like before, he is betrayed
Back then he was betrayed by his brethren motivated in part by his lack of wisdom
Now he is betrayed by his masters wife, because of his integrity
Genesis 39:7–10 NASB95
It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. “There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.
Joseph was a young strong good looking man
He was successful
Potiphar’s wife noticed
Instead of recognizing God’s work in Joseph and enjoy the blessing of having him manage her household
She wanted to be with him and betray her own husband
She was selfish
She did not care about Joseph
She just wanted some of what he had regardless of the moral implications
Here is an important lesson for us
When God gives you success, be careful
Be careful of those who just want the blessing without the relationship
Be careful of not losing yourself
Remember that you are not above the law
Joseph understood this
He was the second in command after Potiphar
And yet he was mostly concern with not sinning against God
Too often those who have achieved great rank, of financial success, act as if the rules did not apply to them
Hear me out, they do!
So she cries out and submits a SHARP complaint

From Favored Slave to Favored Prisoner

And Joseph is thrown into prison
God was still with him
This was a capital offense
Joseph should have been killed
But Potiphar had seen how God was with this young man
I get the feeling Potiphar knew of his wife’s real intent
To save face he through Joseph in prison
Genesis 39:21–23 NASB95
But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper.

From a merely human perspective Joseph is a loser

First he is a slave
Becomes successful
then blows a huge opportunity
now he is a prisoner

From a divine perspective

He was a slave, but God was with him
His testimony is recognized and God is glorified through his life
He rejects an immoral proposition to betray God and his boss
he is a prisoner, but God is with him
His testimony is recognized and God is again glorified through his life

So what have we learned today?

Your circumstances need to be judged in light of your relationship with God and his calling for your life

Are you where He wants you to be?
Are you being faithful to Him
Are you living out the life he called you to live?

You must move from a humanistic perspective to a theistic perspective of life

humanism puts you at the center of the universe
Theism puts God at the center of the universe

Even though God is with you and you may find favor with some, you will still have problems in life

Potiphar saw God’s hand and favored Joseph
His wife saw his success and wanted to take advantage of him
Joseph went to prison for upholding the same principles that had brought him success.
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