Life of Joseph – Part 8 – A Prosperous Slave

Last week we saw Joseph headed to Egypt as a common slave. Today we find out what happened once he got there.


Genesis 39:1-6a / Contemporary English Version (CEV)

39  The Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the king’s official in charge of the palace guard. 2-3 So Joseph lived in the home of Potiphar, his Egyptian owner. Soon Potiphar realized that the Lord was helping Joseph to be successful in whatever he did. Potiphar liked Joseph and made him his personal assistant, putting him in charge of his house and all of his property. Because of Joseph, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s family and fields. Potiphar left everything up to Joseph, and with Joseph there, the only decision he had to make was what he wanted to eat.


There are a lot of life lessons we can learn from this passage. Here are some I found.

1. Huge life changes can happen quickly, without warning and without our choosing them, and sometimes through no fault of our own.

2. We don’t always get to choose our job, our position, or our boss.

3. No matter where we find ourselves, God can make us successful and prosperous.

4. God’s work in our lives can be very evident–even to, or especially to, unbelievers.

5. God’s favor and blessings aren’t just for our benefit. They also benefit those closely associated with us.

6. Our work needs to be excellent, no matter who our boss is.

7. God can grant us favor and promotion even when working for an unbeliever.

8. We can go from the lowest position to a management position with a lot of responsibility when the Lord is with us and our work is excellent.

COMMENTARY: I believe we sometimes find ourselves in “dark” places because God needs a light there. How we respond to our low position and our surroundings and our boss and co-workers will determine how much of God they see in us. We can know that God has a purpose for our lives wherever He’s placed us. And believing He has bigger plans for us allows us to relax and do a good job where we are–knowing He will move us at the right time. But we still have to do our best work and have a good attitude while we’re there. While our job may or may not be very challenging or rewarding, our spiritual task is monumental and life-changing for those around us. We’re showing them God at work–at work!

Application Questions:

1. What jobs have I held that weren’t my top choice? What bosses/co-workers have I worked with who were of a different faith?

2. How has God made me successful and prosperous in low-status jobs?

3. How has God’s work in my life affected the people I’ve worked with?

4. Who has benefited from God’s favor on my life and work? How have I benefited from God’s favor on someone else?

5. When have I allowed who my boss was to determine the quality of my work? How did that turn out?

6. When has God granted me extraordinary favor and promotion in a job?

Next week we’ll see what  ALSO comes with promotion . . . something we’d rather leave behind!

See you then.

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