Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Genesis Bible Study notes- Chapter 39

Genesis 39

-The narrative reverts back to Joseph’s situation in Egypt as a slave in the household of Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard. He had been sold by his brothers to Ishmaelite traders and now he was working for his master in Egypt. But, the LORD was with him, so he became a successful man finding God’s favor and blessing in all his work. He soon was in charge of everything in Potiphar’s house, which showed his master’s trust and faith in him as a good steward. The character of Joseph is beginning to show up in the biblical account.

-Joseph had his mother’s good looks and form, which made Potiphar’s wife desire him and want to lie with him. However, Joseph would not “do this great evil and sin against God (Genesis 39:9).” She came on to him day after day, but he did not listen to her enticements. His character was impeccable. *Application* How is our character (what God knows about us when no one else is watching)? We need to follow the example of Joseph here and do right no matter what the situation or person brings in the way of temptation.

-Now it happened one particular day that Joseph went in to work and none of the men of the household were around. *Application* We should never enter a situation with a member of the opposite sex alone who is not our spouse. Too many bad things could happen as we see here in our story even if we have innocent intentions.

-Potiphar’s wife came on strong towards Joseph and she caught him by his garment. Of course, once again Joseph resisted and fled the scene going outside, but he left his garment in his haste. This was the pivotal mistake, and Potiphar’s wife took advantage of it in her jilted state. She screams that her slave has tried to make sport of her and totally lies about what transpired.

-When Joseph’s master came home, his wife lied to him and his anger obviously burned against his slave to the point of throwing him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were confined.

-But this was in the LORD’s will for Joseph’s life and He was still right there with him extending His kindness and blessing upon His righteous servant. *Application* Do not be worried or fearful of being falsely accused. Know that the LORD is still with you even when circumstances may indicate that He is not. God works all things for good to them who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

-Joseph again finds favor with his overseer and is given charge over all the prisoners in the jail. “Whatever was done there, he was responsible for it (Genesis 39:22).” The LORD was indeed with him and working His ultimate plan for salvation. Joseph prospered in tough times (Isaiah 40:31). *Application* He who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much (Luke 16:10). Joseph personifies this as he goes through God’s training school for the bigger tasks that He has for him later down the road. God is a God of order and He won’t put you into any situation you can’t handle. Take the time and have the patience to learn through the processes God takes you through in life. He doesn’t waste experiences!

Verse to memorize: Genesis 39:2


  1. It is sad, even though the Lord shows he is with me in times of need, and he has not left my side, I still do not always relax with his presence. In some instances (too many), want things done my way on my time. But God does have a plan for each of us, and we can rest assured he will use our trials and tribulations to glorify him.

  2. Amen, that is correct Merle. All things for His glory. It goes so much against our human nature and understanding, but He is at work in all these difficulties we face.