“Potiphar, I wasn’t expecting you..are we having a surprise inspection this evening?” The jail keeper straightened the papers on his desk.
Potiphar held his left hand in front of him. His right hand grasped Joseph’s upper arm band. “Don’t worry. I wish this was an inspection. I have your newest inmate. This is Joseph.”
“Joseph…Is this the young man you’ve been bragging up to everybody. What did he do to deserve being imprisoned?”
“I can’t trust him with my wife. She claims he came on to her too strongly. He says it was the other way around. I was afraid something like this might happen. All I know is I need to separate them if I’m to have any semblance of a home life. As much as my fortunes have increased since I bought him I hate to see him go. He’s good with people. You’d be wise to put him an administrative capacity if you can.”
The jail keeper was filling out the paperwork. “What shall I put down for the charge against him?”
Potiphar shrugged. “Do we have something that covers attempted rape?”
“Attempted…are you sure there wasn’t more to it than that? I can’t put him in here for something that didn’t happen.”
“All I know is the laundress saw him run out of the house naked and my wife had his robe. She’s furious enough to set the house on fire with her look. I can’t keep them together. Make something up if you have to. He’s not coming home with me. That’s that.”
“If he was in control of the situation why wouldn’t he take his clothes with him?”
Potiphar stared at the jail keeper.
“Insubordination will work for a charge for someone from your level in government.”
“Joseph, I need you to come here. We have two more inmates for you.” The jail keeper was finalizing the paperwork in front of him.
Joseph strode into the office. “Yes, sir. Who do we have today?”
“Ahmed was Pharaoh’s cup-bearer until this morning. Rashad was the chief baker.”
Joseph nodded. “You two can train guys in the kitchen. We could definitely use some help there. They’ll have skills they can use when they’re released.”
Joseph led them to a shared cell and walked in with them. He gave them a few minutes to adjust to their surroundings. “So, what happened to bring you two here?”
The cup-bearer slumped on the edge of his bed. “It was my responsibility to drink Pharaoh’s cup to ensure it wasn’t poisoned. As I brought the wine to him the base of the chalice bumped the arm of his throne. It spilled into his lap.”
The baker came over and sat next to Ahmed. “Pharaoh likes his bread warm from the oven. The fire was too hot today. The crust burnt while the dough was under-cooked. It was the first time it ever happened.”
Joseph sat on the other bed. “I, too, am a prisoner here. I’m here on an accusation alone. When you serve one in power you don’t have far to fall, apparently.”
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
Who would have guessed the scorn from Potiphar’s wife would lead to a promotion of sorts for Joseph? I’m sure Joseph didn’t see it that way. All he saw was his life spinning terribly out of control.
Looking back now it’s quite clear. He advanced from being in charge of a household of slaves to a low-level government position in a jail heading up other prisoners. I don’t mean that to sound humorous in any way.
God’s techniques are extremely unlikely to be taught at any schools of higher education.
What impresses me the most about Joseph is his relentless desire to give his best no matter what predicament he finds himself in. Whether he wore the family firstborn coat, ran Potiphar’s house, or scheduled prisoners’ activities he gave it his all.
There’s no sign of him moping in self-pity because of his predicament.
He knew he did nothing to deserve being sold by his brothers. At least they didn’t kill him.
He knew he didn’t do anything to deserve being thrown into prison, he did his best to avoid anything deserving of it. At least Potiphar didn’t have him executed. If he was a military leader he could have.
There was no sense of entitlement from this man, only a servant’s heart. The result: “the LORD was with him and made all he did to prosper” is repeated in this account.
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You may feel like a slave or prisoner in your job, but you’re not. Not like Joseph was.
You possibly feel like you had to settle for the job you have because of the economy or some other situation.
Sure, your boss may be pushing you to do more and more with less and less.
You probably feel like you’re trapped with the people you work with. If they’d do more to help with the workload things would sure go smoother.
Don’t let those feelings overwhelm your sense of purpose to please God with whatever He calls you to do.
Yeah, He chose for you to be in that job at this time. Otherwise you wouldn’t be there. So, give it your all to please Him.
Naturally your co-workers will let you pick up the slack they’re causing. If it brings a spiritual smile from above give it all you’ve got.
The reason you’re in the position you’re in is to be God’s ambassador there. Jesus needs to be lived out so people see the ingredient they’re missing.
Your attitude will be the turning point in their life when you least expect it.
If you’re looking for a pat on the back now you can learn various techniques for that.
If you’re looking for a “Well done. Good and faithful servant.” when you enter God’s presence the lessons are much tougher.
Trust God. He knows what He’s doing.
Give Him your best in all you do.
I’ll see you later. Wade