“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.”
~ Genesis 39:23


Hi James and Ellen,

Why do you think that your grandpaa likes to call your ma Joseph? Joseph is one of your grandmaa’s favorite characters in the Bible. A devotional book that was written by Joyce Meyers – that your grandmaa and grandpaa are reading out of together each night, two nights ago used Joseph as an example of a guy who would overcome hurtful ordeals with his head held high. In his book To Be Told, Dan Ellender uses Joseph as his tragedy example. Joseph was the second youngest son among Jacob’s twelve sons. Joseph’s ma’s name was Rachel. Joseph’s one kid bro’s name was Benjamin. The name Joseph means ‘my God added’. Joseph became his dad’s favorite kid – which per Dan Ellender, was a tragedy. Being a favorite kid can result in the kid acting out brashly. Joseph grew up having a ton of self-confidence. Joseph’s dad had a colorful cloak made for his favorite kid. How do you think that Joseph’s ten older bros felt? Joseph’s older bros were born to three other different gals who had kids with Jacob. Joseph dug himself an even bigger hole with his bros after he had a couple of dreams. Joseph brazenly told his bros about the dreams and his interpretation of the meaning of the dreams. The meaning of the dreams had Joseph’s bros one day bowing down to him. The dreams along with the beautiful cloak that his dad gave him alienated Joseph from his big bros – which was another tragedy per Dan Ellender. In spite of getting tossed into a dry well by his bros and then being sold by his bros to Ishmaelite merchants who were passing by them in a camel caravan that was heading for Egypt, Joseph’s stanch self-assurance had him succeed in Egypt. Genesis 39 begins Joseph’s life story in Egypt. When the Ishmaelite merchants’ camel caravan arrived in Egypt, the Ishmaelite merchants sold Joseph to Potiphar. Potiphar was a Pharaoh official. Potiphar quickly realized that in Joseph he had a guy who he could trust. Potiphar saw Joseph succeed in everything that he had him do. Joseph could be trusted because he trusted in God. Joseph was able to succeed in everything that he was asked to do because God was with him. Because Potiphar trusted Joseph, Potiphar made Joseph his attendant. Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his house and everything that he owned. While Joseph was in charge of Potiphar’s house and fields, Potiphar’s became wealthier. Potiphar was very happy with the work that Joseph was doing for him. Joseph matured into a well-built, handsome young guy. Potiphar’s wife became infatuated with Joseph. Potiphar’s wife tried and tried to get Joseph to do what she wanted him to immorally do with her. Joseph continually refused Potiphar’s wife’s advances to do what she illicitly wanted him to do with her. When Potiphar’s wife one day was trying to physically keep Joseph from leaving and as Joseph was doing everything that he could to escape her clutches, Potiphar’s wife grabbed Joseph’s cloak – pulling Joseph’s cloak off Joseph. Because Potiphar’s wife was so angry with Joseph for him not doing what she wanted him to do in committing adultery with her, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to force himself on her to . . . because of a really exasperated, wicked gal, Joseph ended up in a dungeon enduring another life tragedy.

What would you do if you were unjustly put in jail? Joseph went from being an important guy as an attendant for another important guy to being just another guy who has been stuck in jail. Joseph again though showed how forward looking that he was. Joseph had the ability to put bad life experiences or difficult life tragedies behind him. Joseph soon earned the respect of the jail’s warden. The jail’s warden put Joseph in charge of all the guys who were doing time in his jail. The jail’s warden gave Joseph the responsibility of his jail’s oversight. Joseph used whatever situation that he found himself in to excel. Joseph invariably did exceptionally well in whatever he did because of God’s unmerited kindness toward him and because of God granting him favor with guys like Potiphar and a prison warden. Verse 23 says, “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.”

What do you know now about Joseph that would give you some cues on how to live your lives? Do you have God on your side? Is there something that a guy, gal or kids needs to do to have God on his or her side? Joseph as a young guy seemed to have had an arrogant spirit. Joseph’s dad – Jacob, was a conniver. Joseph’s bros were jealous of him. Joseph seemed to come out of each life tragedy a stronger, more focused guy. Joseph did not waver in his relationship with God – which was a bond that God seemed to control in His sovereignty versus something that was pursued by Joseph. Ask your dad and/or ma what tragedies that they have had happen in their lives. Life tragedies are important for God’s especially elected guys, gals and kids to have to know God and to experience God’s leading. Joseph’s life story is an example of God’s divineness. If the things that happened to Joseph had not happened, God’s specially chosen guys and gals – the Israelite people group guys and gals, would not exist today. The request that Liberty Loan made for your grandpaa to move to Massachusetts to manage the Liberty Loan office in Springfield and the request that Beneficial Finance made in South Dakota for your grandpaa to manage the Beneficial Finance office in Aberdeen and the relocation that your grandmaa and grandpaa made to move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota were life ‘tragedies’ that led your grandmaa and grandpaa closer and closer to where God would have them do as missionaries that literally has influenced thousands of guys, gals and kids to go through the faith/grace door into the big C – the universal church. Unconditionally accepting that God is behind unfolding everything is pulling a Joseph.

Genesis 39 (740)