Today’s Bible readings are from Genesis 39-40 (because I was supposed to do Gen. 35 and 36 together), Mark 10, Job 6 and Romans 10.
Genesis 39 is the temptation and successful overcoming of temptation by Joseph.
Verse 1 restates the end of chapter 37, that Joseph had been taken to Egypt. He had been sold to Potiphar. God immediately began to bless Joseph, which caused Potiphar to make him head of the whole house.
2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.
The key is “The LORD was with Joseph.” This is a consistent refrain (v. 2, 3, 21, 23) in this chapter. Now remember, Joseph was a slave. He was, in some sense, imprisoned. Yet God was blessing him in that place. That is why we need to trust God, that even in terrible situations, He is with us and makes us successful.
Joseph, being handsome and successful, attracts the attention of Potiphar’s wife, some we would call a “single married woman.” She made eyes at Joseph, then made an enticing suggestion “come to be with me.”
Joseph seemed to be doing several things that would help him remain pure and faithful (Notice these, guys!):
First, he let his faith be known. Potiphar and others knew that Joseph was blessed because of his relationship with God (39:3) which means that Joseph must have given verbal credit to God.
Second, Joseph kept busy. One does not advance the way Joseph did without being a busy worker. An old Turkish proverb says, “Men are usually tempted by the devil, but an idle man positively tempts the devil.”
Third, Joseph was careful not to be alone with Potiphar’s wife.
Why did this red-blooded young man say no to an available (and probably beautiful) woman?
Verses 8 and 9 give us two more answers:
First, he remembered that he belonged as a slave to Potiphar and she belonged to Potiphar as his wife.
That is in verse 8-9a:
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.
Second, Joseph remembered that, above all, he belonged to God.
How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (v. 9b)
Joseph knew it was sin and called it a sin.
Well, she still made her move, and Joseph did what we all have to do at some point: RUN FORREST RUN!
But, Joseph paid the price for doing the right thing. You don’t always get rewarded…right away. But God had not forgotten Joseph, even though he was thrown into prison.
In Genesis 40 Joseph sits in prison. God is with him however and makes him successful there. Joseph doesn’t focus upon his own problems, but notices the faces of two men–a baker and cupbearer. They had both been “fired” by Pharoah. Joseph interpreted their dreams–one good news, the other bad and asked the cupbearer to remember him before Pharoah. He agrees, but forgets, causing Joseph to spend more years in prison. But God was with him. Better days would come.
Mark 10 begins with the discussion of divorce (10:2-11). Again, Jesus confirms God’s good idea of lifelong marriage (quoting Genesis 2). It is not a contract of temporary convenience and not a union that may be dissolved at will.
Jesus also instructs them about wealth (10:17-31), spurred by the situation with a rich, young man who was unwilling to give up his wealth (10:17-22). Is giving up our wealth a condition for following Jesus? Apparently it was for this man, for it had become his idol. You cannot serve God and money.
Jesus again predicts His passion (vv. 32-34), which causes the disciples to jockey for important positions in the kingdom, and so he teaches them about serving and being last, rather than first. Jesus, of course, is the greatest example, giving up his own life as a “ransom for many.”
Job 6 is Job’s response to Eliphaz, which will extend into chapter 7. Job felt like the only thing that made his suffering bearable was that he could complain about them (6:1-7). He believed God’s words (6:10) but acknowledged that he had no hope and no help to live. His friends definitely were not helping (vv. 14-23) so he invites them to identify which sin he is being punished for (vv. 24-30). Job was confident he had not sinned.
Romans 10:3 says…
3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
This was the problem for religious Jews, and religious people today. As Tim Keller says, there are unsaved immoral people and unsaved moral people. Sometimes it is not our sin which separates us and keeps us from salvation, but our self-righteousness.
In v. 14 Paul asks a series of questions that shows that there is no salvation without faith and there is no faith without the proclamation of the gospel.
- to call, one must believe
- to believe, one must hear
- to hear, someone must preach
- to preach, someone must be sent