Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 16

Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome to Day 16 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 39, 40, 41, Luke 16 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Genesis 39:2 and 21, “the Lord was with Joseph…”

Note: The Lord was with Joseph as a slave and as a prisoner. Wouldn’t you think God would “rescue” Joseph. We often think, “God if you loved me, I wouldn’t be in this situation, or you would heal me, or you would get me out of here!”

v 9, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” v 10, Potiphar’s wife “spoke to Joseph day after day” to go to bed with her. She was relentless in her pursuit of Joseph! Love Joseph’s character and integrity. His viewpoint was, “everything has been entrusted to me. How could I do such a thing and sin against God!”

Genesis 40, Joseph interprets the dreams for the baker and the cup bearer. Then spends TWO more years in prison until chapter 41 when he is summoned by Pharaoh, interprets his dreams and is appointed second in charge of all of Egypt. Vice Pharaoh? What an amazing story of how God uses situations in our lives… remains faithful through them… Joseph used his gifting as an administrator and runs the prison as a prisoner.

Luke 16, interesting that this is the parable of the shrewd manager!

v 10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Joseph was trustworthy in Potiphar’s house. He was trustworthy even as a prisoner locked up in prison… then he is entrusted with all of Egypt!

v 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” How true is this… and prophetic of Jesus’ eventual death. There is nothing that can convince people to believe or follow Christ.

O bservation

Potiphar’s house. Prison. Pharaoh. Joseph is entrusted with everything in all these situations. Joseph could have become bitter while in prison and just sat there angry at the injustice, but he didn’t. He continued to use his gifts… And because of that, he is now elevated to the number two position in all of Egypt. A position created just for him!

A pplication

Character and integrity are key to walking out this life as a Christian. To not become angry or bitter due to hurts or injustice. To walk uprightly through all situations. Faithfulness is huge. Again, to not become like the Pharisees who loved money and power, sneered at Jesus, and did things that were “detestable” to God.

P rayer

Lord, Joseph is such a great example of a man who had many opportunities to sin and chose not to. He refused Potiphar’s wife under the toughest of circumstances and her relentless pursuit of him. He didn’t become bitter toward his family or even God for his circumstances. He just kept walking it out. Help me to do that. To just keep walking it out. One day at a time. One step at a time.

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9 thoughts on “Day 16

  1. Mark Long on said:

    That was soooo cool that the Luke passage of of the shrewd manager lined up so well with Joseph’s story. Joseph must have had such a great positive attitude to not just persevere through the slavery and imprisonment but to thrive time and time again! It would be interesting if we knew more about mental state through all of this. Maybe that’s the point, though. Be content in all things and keep our focus on on God!

  2. I think it is easy and common for us to play the blame game. We see it every day.
    How marvelous when we are able to stop and let God help us in our circumstances
    Both good and Bad.
     2 The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered,
       But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him

  3. In the video that Doug showed the congregation on the Life Journals and the importance of devouring God’s Word, Wayne Cordeiro said that the biblical men and women are our mentors in the faith. I like that. I think Joseph is a great mentor – we have much to learn from him.

    I see that Joseph was humble, patient, righteous, intimately in relationship with God, discerning, walked in favor with God . . . He started out a bit cocky, but many 17 year olds are, as they’re finding their way in the world. The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he found favor in the eyes of God (Gen 39:2-6). I frequently pray for God’s favor – not in a cocky way, but humbly because I know I’m in such desperate need of it and I so desperately desire that the work of my hands might prosper because God has anointed it. Joseph’s story is a great encouragement to me to continue to humbly seek God’s favor and anointing. And because he’d found favor with God, Joseph sought to be a man of integrity, righteousness, honor; even when he was wrongly accused and thrown in prison, he was silent and accepted his fate (reminds me of Jesus – as a sheep before his shearers is silent . . .) Isaiah 53:7

    Joseph humbly served others, seemingly without consideration of himself. Even in prison, he wasn’t complaining, he was humbly serving the cupbearer and the baker out of his spiritual giftedness (Gen 40). When he was finally called up out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph didn’t go on the offensive (I’ve been wrongfully accused, I didn’t deserve to go to prison, why did you leave me there to rot all this time, why, why, why?!) but rather he humbly served Pharaoh and shared the interpretation that God gave him. Joseph didn’t even nominate himself to be the guy to oversee the stockpiling plan – he waited to be invited into that role (granted, he set the stage for the invite, but he did humbly if not merely politely wait to be asked). Reminds me of our account in Luke 14 the other day – take a seat at the end of the table and wait to be invited higher . . .

    God, thanks for giving me a mentor like Joseph. Help me to learn from his example and to walk in the way that he walked. Make me humble, patient, generous with the things You’ve gifted me with, quick to serve, slow to speak, willing to wait on the unfolding of Your plan for me, fruitful in the land of my suffering (Gen. 41:52). Thanks, God.

  4. I’m wrestling to understand the parable of the shrewd manager. Would love to have some of you help me understand. Why is the dishonest manager commended for acting shrewdly in reducing the bills of the debtors? The manager has cheated his master out of money that was owed to him in order to set himself up in a more favorable light with the debtors – how was it his place to do that and why wouldn’t the master have been angry about that?

    Or, is the whole point simply forgiveness of debts as we forgive our debtors . . .

    I know when you help me see the interpretation, I’m going to say, “oh yeah! Duh!”

    Thanks, friends!

  5. Genesis 39-41
    16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

    How easy it can be to take God’s credit, but Joseph remembered. He was 2-2 with the cupbearer and the baker and it would have greatly enhanced his stature by simply saying “I can do it”. Instead, he remained humble and gave God the glory. For any good I do, I should remember the same.

    Luke 16
    19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

    This is one of the most interesting passages in the Bible (to me anyway). There are two men named Lazarus in the Bible, the beggar here, and later the Lazarus whom Jesus loved. Everyone remembers the Lazarus whom Jesus loved because he raised him from the dead. However, few remember this parable of Lazarus the beggar and the rich man. Both died and the rich man looking up from Hades wanted desperately to send Lazarus to his family, so that they would believe and be saved. How many times do we focus on miracles like Lazarus whom Jesus loved being raised from the dead, and overlook the simple faith that Lazarus the beggar had in his life and was rewarded in heaven? Reminds me of a Christian rock song, “I want a faith like that”.

  6. Elizabeth, I read a bunch of translations for this verse (surprising how bad the math is between translations).

    The Message translation (link above) gives the best understanding of the parable (IMO). A lot of different ways to read into this verse, but I’d like to think the master wanted the manager to use his position to develop relationships, which would in turn benefit the master, rather than act like Scrooge and be hated.

  7. I LOVE how Joseph gave God the glory for his gifts. Even more so after all he had been through. He knew who he was in God. He will never leave us or forsake us. He had such great faith. I wanted to slap the wife going after Joseph like that. How dare she lie like that. People can be so ugly.

    Despite the ugliness, we are beautiful in God’s eyes. He will see us through the trials. PTL!

  8. maren gray on said:

    okay so i know that we see joseph’s character here and how he remained faithful to God even when he was locked up and treated unfairly, but do you think he went through the “God where the heck are you, and what is going on here”? anger stage??? i know that when i am feeling wronged my first response isn’t usually…”oh gee God how can you use this?” NOt that i’m mad at God, but i usually have a lot of crying to do first…I just wonder if joseph had a moment of that too…if he didn’t then WHOA i feel really yucky for my human emotions!!!
    anybody ?????

  9. Having a child with autism put a different spin on the story of Joseph for me. From what I have read, one of the characteristics of children with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome is what you might call “brutal honesty”. Whatever it is in the typical human brain that makes us want to lie or do things dishonestly doesn’t seem to exist in the autistic brain. It’s as if it never occurs to them that lying is an option. If something comes to mind that a typical person might not say for fear of offending people, the autistic person will often just say it, then wonder why people are offended.

    In the past when I read about Joseph sharing his dreams with his family, I thought what Elizabeth said – that he was a cocky teenager bragging to his brothers. Today it occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t trying to brag at all. Like a person with autism, I wonder if Joseph was just being “honest to a fault” because of his strong moral character, sharing his dream without thinking through how it would be offensive to his family.

    The strength of Joseph’s moral character became even more apparent when he refused Potiphar’s wife after she repeatedly threw herself at him. It never occurred to him that adultery was an option, even though he was a teen or young adult that had most likely never been with a woman.

    Joseph’s honesty got him into trouble throughout his life. His brothers despised him for telling the truth about his dreams and sold him into slavery. Potiphar’s wife became so exasperated with his unwillingness to behave dishonestly that she falsely accused him of attempted rape and had him imprisoned. He took a risk in sharing his honest interpretation of Pharoah’s dream; Pharoah could have been offended somehow by the interpretation and punished him. Yet his honesty eventually paid off and he was entrusted with a position of great authority, because he was faithful (honest) with small things (Luke 16, like Mark pointed out).

    As for life application, I’m not sure “brutal honesty” is the most effective communication style, but this story encourages me that God honors those who speak and behave honestly. That’s the kind of person I want to be. Not sure how the story of the shrewd (but dishonest) manager coincides with that theory though.

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