Through the Word: Joseph in Slavery

Genesis 39

Despised by his brothers and sold into slavery, Joseph ended up in Egypt working as a slave for Potiphar, a captain of the guard of Pharaoh.

You probably know the story. The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man. Potiphar made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. Joseph was a handsome man and Potiphar’s wife wanted him. Joseph resisted her advances until the day came when they were alone inside the house. She caught him by his garment and he fled, leaving his garment behind.

Joseph’s struggles remind me of Job’s, who complained to the Lord that even his own clothes would detest him. Job 9:31

Here, Joseph’s clothes are being used against him. Back in Canaan, Joseph’s brothers kept his garment as ‘proof’ he’d died when he was sold into slavery. Now in Egypt, Potiphar’s wife kept his garment as ‘proof’ of attempted rape and he was sent to prison.

 Picture from FreeBibleImages.org

First he’s dead and now he’s a rapist? Joseph is not having a happy time of it, but the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Genesis 39:21

I believe Satan knew Jesus was going to descend from Jacob but didn’t know from which tribe. The other brothers weren’t amounting to much so he pegged Joseph as the one to attack. He never factored Judah and Tamar from the previous chapter into the equation.

The level of warfare over a life reflects the Devil’s measure of a person. Think of that if you’ve been given what-for!

The Thread

Imagine a living tapestry of threads and colour. Some of the threads are generations old. We, the children of men, can’t see the big picture yet, but one day we will. For now, we are children in our understanding. All we know is our part, in the back of the tapestry.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12

The Lord thinks generationally whereas we tend to think everything revolves around ‘me.’ The Lord is thinking of the ‘big picture’ while we often can’t see beyond our small world.

God looks ahead to the generations to come and says, “There is more at stake here.”

Have you ever had times where you feel like you’re hanging by a thread? I have this year in 2020 after going through two lock downs and now cancer.

These are the times where, if we wait on the Lord, He will add His thread to ours to strengthen us. The Hebrew word for ‘wait’ is ‘qavah,’ which means ‘to bind together by twisting.

I know the colours of the threads that God the Father likes; threads of gold, blue, and purple.

They’re the colours in the curtains of the tabernacle and in the garments of the priests.

The big picture is beautiful, but if we spin the yarn, it can get tangled and there’s way too much scarlet in it. With the Lord’s help, the thread is untangled, exchanged for gold, and woven into a pattern in the fabric of redemption.

Redemption

Jesus has an interesting family line.

Rahab was a prostitute. She tied a scarlet thread on her window at Jericho and both she and her family were spared. Joshua 2.

Tamar acted the part of a prostitute after Judah forgot about her, and from that union came twin sons. At birth one of the sons had the scarlet thread tied to his hand to indicate he was to have the designation and privileges of the firstborn. Genesis 38:27-30.

To all appearances, Zerah seemed to be the one, but God had different plans, and Perez was the firstborn. The name Perez appears in both genealogies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Wedding Garment

The thread can run through a wedding garment. Psalm 45 is a wedding song which speaks of a princess wearing a gown interwoven with gold;

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her — those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king. Psalm 45:13-15.

I think the thread was exchanged by the King at his arrest and trial. Mocked by the Roman soldiers, Jesus wore the scarlet robe for us.

Job, a good man known for his suffering said, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

You’ll see the scarlet thread in my story, and you’ll see where it’s been interwoven with the gold. My book ‘The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams’ has had very good reviews at Goodreads. I will supply the book free in exchange for a review or the purchase of my second book.

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What is the significance of a scarlet thread?