Joseph in Potiphar’s House

Open Your Bible

Genesis 39:1-23, Genesis 40:1-23, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 25:14

At first glance, Joseph’s story reads like a set of extraordinary circumstances lived by an ordinary man. If that’s the case, it would be enough to hold our collective attention for a moment, but not one second more. So why is it we are still talking about him?

Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob (Genesis 37:3). You may have heard of his coat of many colors, or perhaps the time his brothers sold him into slavery (vv.3, 27–28). Joseph stood firm against the temptations of Potiphar’s wife, even though doing so landed him in prison. (Genesis 39). He’s the one who relocated the baby nation of Israel to Egypt and protected them from eventual famine (Genesis 47).

These are the facts we see on the surface, but look again. There is an undercurrent to Joseph’s story that points to a deeper truth. We see it written all over Genesis 39. We read that the Lord “was with Joseph,” and when his master realized this, he also saw that “the LORD made everything he did successful” (vv.2–3). The Lord remained “with Joseph and extended kindness to him,” blessing “the Egyptian’s house” and making everything he did successful (vv. 5,21–23). It’s clear that while on a human level Joseph’s life was marked by betrayal, fear, and desperate circumstances, on the supernatural level, his story is about so much more—because of God’s favor.

When Joseph’s brothers plotted his death—
God preserved his life.

When the schemes of man made Joseph a slave and a refugee—
God gave him favor in a foreign land.

When he was falsely accused and thrown in jail—
God infused Joseph’s prison time with purpose.

When there was no way for Joseph to free himself from his shackles—
God set Him free.

When Joseph was cut off from his family—
God made a way for radical reconciliation.

When Joseph lived in a land of famine—
God filled his storehouses.

Joseph was a nobody. Just an overlooked kid with a string of bad luck. Nothing to see here—but God. God was using the circumstances of Joseph’s life to tell a bigger, more important story: the story about His glory.

God’s story of grace is the undercurrent of our lives too. He proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He remains faithful to us, even when we are not (1 Corinthians 10:13). He is “rich in mercy, [and] because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. [We] are saved by grace!” (Ephesians 2:4–5).

The reality of God’s grace turns every moment of rejection, every false accusation or overlooked achievement, every fear and every famine, into an opportunity to showcase His glory. He is the point—not us. Thousands of years later, we are still compelled to remember the story of a shepherd boy turned slave, who was transformed from a prisoner into a man of great power—not by Joseph’s strength of character or accomplishment, but by God’s design and power.

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51 thoughts on "Joseph in Potiphar’s House"

  1. Evelyn Foster says:

    I’m glad I picked this up on the first of the new year. With everything that has happened this past several years. I needed to be reminded that God’s grace turns everything into an opportunity to showcase His glory. And I need to remember that the next time when I feel hurt or sad, or whatever. That God can use it to glorify Him.

  2. hut says:

    you are cool

  3. filesoo says:

    Poverty is not a source of pride, but it is certainly not a source of pride and support!
    دانلود از آمازون
    Napoleon Hill

  4. Christine Taylor says:

    A timely word in my life right now. I pray that I can see that ‘the Lord is with me’.

  5. K D says:

    But the Lord was with…I just need to remember that. In the midst of deep pain, I hold onto the truth that God is WITH me. There is no need to be afraid.

  6. Rachael says:

    This is very touching to me personally. I am going through alot and I honestly am trying so very hard to get back into touch with God. It hurts my heart so much that I have drifted this much.I never allowed myself to do this when i was younger. And now there are people in my life that are making it very difficult for me to be the person God wants me to be. This message was a great reminder for me that God is always with me. He will take any situtaion and make it into something you can be successful.GOD IS WITH US ALL!!

    1. Cara Pond says:

      Thank you Rachel for that reminder. I have a picture in our house that says, I will choose to find joy in the journey that God has set before me. I see it every day and remind myself of it. Some days are much harder than others, ‘but God’ has a plan and it’s His plan; not mine for He does work all things together for our good. I pray that you stand firm in your faith today!

      1. Catherine G says:

        Cara, what a great picture! I will need to get a copy of that

  7. Ashley White says:

    This really spoke to me right now, going through some difficulties but God’s grace and glory will come through. Just trying to keep trusting Him and looking to Him.

  8. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Every season in life has it’s own ups and downs. This is a beautiful season in so many ways, I am married to a man I love and am raising our beautiful daughter. The hard part of this season is that my husband is working so much, and I miss him. I’m praying that God brings something good out of the lonely part of this season.

    1. Elizabeth Polley says:

      I’m going through the same situation. Mg husband works so much and I’m home with our 2 girls. We live states away from any family. It is very lonely. God has given me a couple of good friends, but it’s still hard sometimes. I’ll and pray for you and your family as I pray for our own!

      1. Jennifer Anapol says:

        Thank you!

  9. Kristen says:

    I was just wondering thinking about the freedom that is offered when we really trust God and His goodness. I’ve been through so much as some of you may remember from my other posts. I wouldn’t have chosen these things or wanted to go through them. I didn’t know God, Jesus, or read my Bible even though I went to church and CCD when I was younger. I blamed myself when my baby passed away, when my daughter was molested, and when my husband had an affair. I’ve come to realize that we are in a fallen world. I’m not in control of everything and everyone, and even when terrible things happen, God is still on the throne! I used to think every bad thing was a punishment for something I did wrong. I realize that’s not true. God has used so many bad things for good! I just read an email from Pastor Greg Laurie about Jeremy Camp’s life. His wife died shortly after they were married of cancer. He cried out and asked why. Yet God was there for him in his pain. He wrote a song that had touched so many lives called: I Still Believe. I didn’t read the book, but I’m sure it’s a good one. Also, just heard this podcast. It is from Tim Keller called: God on the Dock. Wow! Listen if you can: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924

  10. Stacey C says:

    It’s good to remember when life gives you lemons, God will turn it into lemonade thus showcasing his glory. When I’m in the dumps about life I just have to remember that God is always with me and he has a plan for me. I may not understand it, but it brings me comfort.

  11. Kelly P says:

    Yes it took the opportunity of Joseph’s story to show case his glory but let’s not forget another important point which is « obedience » this passage tells us multiples times that Joseph was obedient . God was showing him constant favor because he was obedient , as Psalm 1 says that the one who delights in the Lord’s instruction will prosper whatever he does .

  12. Tina says:

    Lizzie T…. Praising God for His wonderful favour and blessing to you and yours… He is good.. all the time.. He is good! Congratulations sister.. may this overwhelming feeling never stop..
    Every every every blessing for a wonderful life that now includes this beautiful little girl..❤

  13. Cynthia Johnston says:

    Thought I would share with you all the prayer I pray before I read God’s Word each morning.
    Father God, please open my eyes to read your Word. Please open my ears to hear your Word. Please open my mind to know your Word. Please open my heart to receive your Word. And please open my spirit to obey your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
    Hope this blesses someone today. ♥️

    1. Bridget Vaschak says:

      I love that, Cynthia!

    2. Nancy Singleton says:

      Love this! Okay to borrow?

    3. Stacey C says:

      Ooh I love this! Simple, profound and easy to remeber

    4. Stacey C says:

      Ooh I love this! Simple, profound and easy to remember

    5. Vicki Tiller says:

      ❤️

    6. Kirstie Le Lievre says:

      Thank you Cynthia! You are a blessing.

  14. Lynn Painter says:

    When he was imprisoned and thought to be forgotten, in the right time he was remembered.

  15. Mari V says:

    I may not have lived a Joseph story BUT have seen and witnessed God’s faithfulness. Even when I don’t know what I’m doing MY GOD remains faithful and has and will continue to see me through. And HE will do the same for you. Let’s trust Him. Our Daddy does know best.

  16. Susan Crosby says:

    In the eyes of man Joseph was a nobody but God uses ordinary people to tell his extraordinary story…the story of Jesus.

  17. Erin B says:

    The story of Joseph is reminding me in my first season of Motherhood (to triplets!) that even when I feel forgotten by him, God works in every “waiting” moment and so so far ahead of me too. He always gives us what we need, right where we are.

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Such a great perspective! I’m sure you have to rely on his strength daily with triplets.

  18. patricia Buck-Sherman says:

    DO YOU TRUST ME ? YES. I TRUST YOU LORD AMEN

  19. Nadine Hall says:

    I found it interesting that “the Lord was with Joseph” was repeated roughly 4 times in this passage, and then the passage ended with the cupbearer forgetting Joseph. It’s a reminder to me this morning that we can’t put our faith and hope in people. They will hurt us, leave us, or forget us; God will never do those things. He is the friend who “sticks closer than a brother.” He has promised to “never leave you nor forsake you.” He is the “God of all comfort.” As the Lord was with Joseph, the Lord is with me…the Lord is with you. We can have confidence and hope no matter what happens in life because the Lord is with us.

  20. Sue says:

    “The reality of God’s grace turns every moment…into an opportunity to showcase His glory.”

    May this be my focus today.

  21. Libby K says:

    The undercurrent. I feel it, I know it and yet, sometimes the trials seem to have no purpose. But years later, I look back and am overwhelmed by His goodness. Beauty from the ashes that, quite frankly, I was the one who lit the match and torched my own life! But God. He sought me and bought me and redeemed me. So thankful this morning!!!

  22. Lizzie T says:

    As I read this beautiful reminder this morning, I’m overwhelmed with the goodness and awesome timing of God. We will finalize our daughters adoption in a few hours after many delays and unforeseen glitches. At times, it didn’t make sense and didn’t see the point of our struggle and trial. God is master of the universe and He always has a plan and is on time. I’m thankful to read this passage this morning and be reminded that even when we walk through trials, god is with us, for us, and grants favor. He has sure done that with us and for us in this season.

    1. Libby K says:

      Praising God for you and your daughter’s adoption!!!!! Congratulations!!!!

    2. Lucy Goodwin says:

      Congratulations ❤️

    3. Megan Enns says:

      Praying for the adoption to go well, for you, for your daughter and for your daughter’s birth family.

    4. Jane K says:

      We adopted our daughter 16 years ago! Congratulations on the adoption and may God continue to pour out His favor on your family.

    5. Mari V says:

      ❤️

    6. Lynn Painter says:

      A wonderful day!!! We adopted 3 children, all now adults. Two are following the Lord… a beautiful blessing

    7. Natasha R says:

      Wonderful wonderful news! I’m praying for your family!

  23. Angie says:

    I enjoy reading Christian fiction, as long as it is light – for me, meaning…it has adversity, but not overwhelmingly so. There are times to “breath” written in, lots of scripture guidance, hope, and of course, “good” always wins in the end. Books, whether fiction or nonfiction, have a marked beginning and ending. When things are intense, I can see there are only a hundred or so pages until everything works out.

    Joseph didn’t have the benefit of seeing the timeline of his life. As far as he knew the most-loved child season would last forever. When sold into slavery, I imagine he hoped for rescue at first, but then made the best of his, “new normal.” He lived a similar roller coaster ride in Potiphar’s home, and the prison – rising to great influence and success, only to have it unjustly taken away again. Because we have read the story before, we know how it ends – but, Joseph didn’t. And, to his credit, every time his “new normal” changed, he did the one thing he knew was right. He trusted, and continued to live for God. And, every step of the way, God remained faithful.

    As we sang in church yesterday about being thankful for God’s faithfulness, I thought about the blessing of time and how it allows us to build a treasure chest of memories of God’s faithfulness in our lives. The longer we live, the more the treasured memories of God’s goodness build up. There are times when circumstances hit us – times we hold onto the God we know and trust as He carries us through our “new normal.” There are also the times when He has written in “just breathe and rest” times. Moments in every day where He has touched our lives with beauty. His breath, His touch, His love is written into each of our lives, for we are His.

    Heavenly Father, Lord God, we thank You. We praise You. We ask not just for eyes to see but, to have your vision. We ask not just for hands to work, but to bring honor and glory to You in all that we do. We thank You. Even now Lord, in good or loss, we trust, we wait, we love. Thank You Lord.

    1. Bessie H says:

      And in the end we win!

      1. Nancy Singleton says:

        Amen!

      2. Zady Ebanks says:

        Amen

    2. Christina Mendez says:

      Angie, thank you so much for this comment & for touching on the “new normals” of Joseph’s life & how he handled them. I need that reminder!!

  24. Blessed Beth says:

    God is so faithful the storms come and go, and we are continually molded into His child. We always come out a better, wiser aha child of God.

  25. Audrey Flores says:

    Wow so good. I am so glad that the Holy Spirit lead me to this plan. I may feel alone but God is with me. The situation may seem dark but God is light!! The storm may rage and rage but the Son of God is in the boat with me. I may be depressed but I see the light of God lighting the way to victory. We are never alone. He is always with us and always shows us kindness like He did with Joseph. It just may look a bit different.

  26. Churchmouse says:

    God is all in when it comes to His people. He is not indifferent or distant. He is intentionally involved. We, on the other hand, are often blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to His activity in our life. We don’t see His hand because our eyes are on our circumstances. We don’t hear His voice because we are too busy to be still. We are silent when we could speak the Truth because we don’t want to offend others. He is working His plan even when we are not. God remains faithful and focused on His purpose. He is with us always. What a comfort. What a gift. What a God.

  27. Tina says:

    God’s story of grace is the undercurrent of our lives too. I love that! This is such absolute truth!

    I look back on the many, many, many trials and tribulations this 60 year old has come through, overcome, been freed from, saved from.

    My But God.. times!

    I can only speak of Gods favour… I can only speak of Gods grace.. I can only speak of Gods goodness and mercy that has followed me all my life…

    I can but only Praise, worship and Glorify the One who holds this undeserving sinner right there in his hands, in His love, in His heart..

    God is the point of my life..!

    Amen!

    Happy Monday my dears… with love and hugs to all..❤

    1. Mudrock Mama says:

      ❤️