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.
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.