The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 39:1-10

photo of an open book on a tree s roots

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom to be planted. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 39:1-10.

When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. 4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. 5 From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. 6 So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!

Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, 7 and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.

8 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9 No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”

10 She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.

Genesis 39: 1-10 NLT

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows that when God has a meaningful plan, He prepares the perfect environment to accomplish it. Our scripture selection begins with Joseph being brought to Egypt as a slave by the Ishmaelites. Potiphar purchased Joseph and put him to work in his home. The Lord allowed Joseph to be successful and others noticed, including his master, Potiphar. Because of the Lord’s favor on Joseph, he was elevated to being in charge of his master’s house. At this point, Joseph is propositioned by Potiphar’s wife and he refused. He told her that it would be wicked and a sin against God. Potiphar’s wife persisted day after day, but Joseph refused to listen to her.

Every valley experience provides an opportunity for refinement. Joseph is experiencing a valley. He was the favorite son of his father, Israel (Jacob), and enjoyed many benefits. Yet at this point in his life, he was sold into slavery at the hands of his brothers. Even in the valley, God’s favor still rests upon him. Potiphar, whose name means “he who the sun god has given,” is not the average Egyptian. He is an officer or captain, which means he enjoys a certain level of influence and interaction with the palace. This makes the advancement of Joseph from outdoors, to indoors, to running the entire household even more incredible. As more time passes, Potiphar’s wife begins to make advances toward Joseph. But Joseph turned her down and avoided being around her. Perhaps, Joseph was aware of God’s favor in his life as evidenced by his advancement from slave to running a prominent household. Joseph’s refusal demonstrated his high moral standard and obedience to God.

God placed Joseph in an environment to help refine his character. It’s easy to lose our morals and change our character when we climb the ladder of success. Yet Joseph remained steadfast in doing what he knew was right. Joseph recognized God was at work and that there was a plan for his life. Whenever we recognize God at work, why would we mess up a good thing with sin? The story of Joseph encourages us to remain dedicated to God and His ways. Some environments that we’re placed in are for God to test our character. It’s an opportunity for God to prepare us for something bigger. The key is to remain unyielding to the world’s ways.

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