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Even in times where he could easily believe that he has been abandoned by the LORD, Joseph remains strong in his faith. God is with us even during trials and tribulations if only we had the faith to see it.

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife 1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.   Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 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. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.   But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

    Here we shift back to the story of Joseph, who has been sold into slavery by the Ishmaelites to Potiphar. Although he has endured great trials God has not abandoned Joseph. All that he touches prospers and soon Potiphar notices that Joseph is blessed by the LORD. Potiphar puts Joseph in charge of all his household and does not concern himself because he knows Joseph is blessed in all that he does.
    However, trouble is brewing for the young and attractive slave. Potiphar’s wife takes notice of him and wants to bed him. She harasses Joseph continuously. Never once does Joseph break down. He tells her that he cannot sin against God, who has blessed him so much. Finally it escalates to the point where in anger she falsely cries rape.
    Upon hearing the accusations Potiphar is enraged. The law at that time allowed for a master to kill any violent slave. However, Potiphar only sends Joseph to prison for the false crime. Perhaps it is fear of the wrath of God that keeps Potiphar from executing such a blessed man. Even in prison Joseph flourishes. The warden takes notice of the young man and puts him in charge of the other prisoners never having to take notice because he knows that everything Joseph does is blessed.
    Even in times where he could easily believe that he has been abandoned by the LORD, Joseph remains strong in his faith. God is with us even during trials and tribulations if only we had the faith to see it. I once thought that I had been born an atheist. I was a skeptical child and from the age of three I can remember thinking that God was a human creation rather than humans God’s creation. I was fully convinced that out of their desperate search and need for meaning that humankind had invented a purpose and direction through religious means. I still tend to think that people are so lost, afraid, and weak in spirit that they cling to what they interpret as God’s law in order to avoid looking for a truth that may not exist.
    I took great pride in thinking that I was above all this somehow having been born exempt and fully aware of this particular downfall of humanity. Despite my conviction that this life was ultimately hollow and insignificant, I still desperately felt the need for meaning and purpose in my life. The times before I knew Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior are dark and riddled with overwhelming depression. One of my biggest struggles in being saved was admitting that I had been wrong all along. I had seen my life with closed eyes all that time. Jesus had been with me every step of the way even through my greatest disbelief. Though I truly believed that we had all been born into a world without a God and then adopted the cloak of religion or spirituality in order to survive such a harsh and empty existence, I then realized that we are all born with the light of the living Lord in our hearts.
    Although Joseph never wavered in his faith, most of us have taken a road with many detours on our path to God. If we can step out of time we’d realize that all our doubts and questions are intrinsically linked to the ultimate strength of our connection with God. God loves questions and makes us stronger in our faith by them. If I had not suffered life without knowing Jesus Christ as my personal savior then I am sure I would have taken my faith for granted. When you hold something that lightly it is easily lost.
    I can’t say how happy it makes me that some of you reading this don’t believe in God (at least in the Christian sense of the term). That you would read something so focused on the word of God means that you are still open to hearing from different perspectives. Please keep that tolerance. Please keep up your personal search for meaning. It may lead you somewhere totally different than where I am at, and that’s all right. It’s better to not believe than be following blindly. Out of death comes resurrection. Out of questions come answers and out of doubt comes a stronger faith in whatever it is you ultimately find true.

 


Comments

Liz
02/28/2011 20:44

Beautifully put dear Juli!

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