January 13, 2007
Thought for the day:
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And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
- And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
- And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
- And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
- And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
- And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
- And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
- And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
- And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
- And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
- Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
- And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
- And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
- And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
- When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
- And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
- And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?
- And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
- And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
- And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.
- Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.
- And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.
- And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
- And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
- When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
- And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
- And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
- And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
- And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.
- And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
- And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
- And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
- And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
- And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
- And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
- And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
- And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
- But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
- There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
- And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
- And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
- And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
- And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
- That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
- And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
- And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
- And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
- And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
- And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
- And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
- But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
- And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
- The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
- And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
- And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
- And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
- And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
- And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.
- And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
- And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
- And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
- And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
- And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
- And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand.
- And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
- Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
- But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
- For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
- When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:
- And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
- And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:
- Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
- And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.
- And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
- But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
- Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
Thought for the day:
You may click on verses for Scripture
Chapter 39 tells of Joseph's relationship with Potiphar in Egypt. Joseph had been sold by his brothers to Midianite merchants, and they in turn sold him to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard. Joseph's testimony was so strong, and his prosperity so evident, that Potiphar recognized that the Lord was with Joseph, and he made him the overseer of all that went on within his home. This then resulted in God's blessing upon Potiphar as well. In fact, things went so well that Potiphar knew nothing of what went on in his house. As long as he had food and drink, he was satisfied with Joseph's job.
So it seems that Joseph has survived the ordeal of being sold into slavery. His life is not nearly as bad as it could have been. Yet things take a dramatic turn.
Verse 6 tells us that Joseph was a good-looking young man, and he obviously had wisdom and talent. These attributes caught the eye of Potiphar's wife, who attempted to seduce him. It is at this point that Joseph's godly character is truly revealed. He refuses on two Biblical grounds: first, that he would be sinning against Potiphar
(8-9a), and second, that he would be sinning against God
(9b). These are the two foundational principles upon which decisions are to be made. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Christ responded:
" ...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,"
(Mark 12:30-31). How much better off we would be if we considered what God thought and how others would be impacted before we make our choices!
I'm sure that Joseph hoped that this would be the end of it. However, as is so often true with temptation, it only continued, and in fact worsened.
Verse 10 states that she spoke to him day after day after day, trying to wear him down. However, Joseph determined that he would not commit this sin with her. Finally, a day came when Joseph went into the house, and there was no other man there. By the way, I believe this indicates that Joseph had made every attempt to keep from being in the house alone with this woman. If we do our best to stay away from the opportunities for temptation, we will win more victories over temptation. However, on this day, Joseph had to go in to do his business, and the temptation went up to a new level. She made physical contact with him, grabbed his robe, and demanded that he respond. Joseph now is really faced with a dilemma. He doesn't want to sin (although I'm sure that the temptation was real), but for him to refuse at this point would not only infuriate Potiphar's wife, but would also force her into a position of having to explain why she had Joseph's robe in her possession. If he gives in, Potiphar will probably never know. If he leaves, Potiphar will hear a story from his wife that will endanger Joseph's position and perhaps his life. What should he do? What would you do?
Joseph ran. He abandoned the garment that she had ripped from him, and left, completely removing himself from the temptation. Of course, Potiphar's wife did what would be expected. As a woman scorned, she lied to her husband about Joseph's behavior and used his robe as evidence against him. And, as would be expected, Potiphar believed his wife, and Joseph not only lost his position, he was condemned to prison; not just any prison, but the worst: the one where the king's prisoners were kept (
Psalm 105:17 tells us that that while in prison, Joseph's "feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron". Yet God was still with Joseph, and these chapters tell us that the Lord prospered him even in these difficult situations.
When temptation comes, are we willing to not only forsake the sin, but also risk losing our position and our comforts in order to please our Heavenly Father? Are we willing to surrender everything in order to be in a right relationship with Him? Joseph was, and God used him throughout is life because of it.
Have a great day. See you in church tomorrow.