A Place of Prominence

Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.
—Genesis 39:3

Sometimes we depend on friends or family or finances for our security. But when the props are knocked out from under us, we realize we have to depend on God. We see this in the life of Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph, so he became successful in the house of Potiphar.

Genesis 39:3 says, “His master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.” It’s interesting that in this verse, instead of using the general name for God, Elohim, this verse uses the holy name, Yahweh. Yahweh is the name used for the God of Israel, the covenant God who keeps His promises. The Bible says that Potiphar saw that Yahweh was with Joseph and was granting success to Joseph. How did a pagan Egyptian like Potiphar know about Yahweh and recognize that Yahweh was behind Joseph’s success? The answer is simple. The only way Potiphar knew about Yahweh was that Joseph told him about Yahweh. Joseph shared his faith with Potiphar, and Potiphar came to understand that Yahweh granted success to Joseph.

Now if Joseph had been negligent or lazy, I doubt Potiphar would have had any interest in knowing about Joseph’s God. I doubt Potiphar would have asked Joseph, “Why aren’t you like the other slaves? How can you be so optimistic when you have been torn from your homeland and separated from your family? What’s your secret?” You see, Joseph’s uniqueness caused Potiphar to want to know about Joseph’s God.

Potiphar understood that the Lord with was Joseph and gave him success. And because of that, Potiphar elevated Joseph to a place of prominence in his household. Look at verse 6, “So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate.” In other words, Potiphar turned over the checkbook, the accounts receivable, and the other servants to Joseph’s charge. The only thing Potiphar had to worry about was what time dinner was served every night. He trusted Joseph completely.

Notice this statement in verse 6: “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” Why does the Bible passage mention that? Because this is the transition into the next portion of the story, Joseph’s temptation. Look at verse 7, “It came about after these events.” The phrase “after these events” tells you when temptation is most likely to come into your life. After what events? Notice what had transpired before this. Joseph was rescued out of the pit where he was left for dead. He was safely delivered into Potiphar’s household. He was elevated to a place he never expected. And now that Joseph is in a place of prominence, he is about to face a very significant temptation.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When Temptation Comes” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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