The Journey of Joseph: The LORD’s Blessings.

From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” (Genesis 39:5–6 (ESV)

Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers (37:12–36), is now a servant in Potiphar’s Egyptian house (39:1). However, we have thus far seen that that the LORD was with Joseph (Gen. 39:1-4) in all his circumstances.

One commentator explains it this way: “Joseph’s situation is not as bad as it seems. At first, Jacob’s son is only a menial slave for Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, but soon he is given a more respectable status as an indoor servant (v. 2), before becoming Potiphar’s personal attendant (v. 4). This is a position of great honor and indicates a close, personal relationship between the two men.”

The Hebrew root (sharat) used for Joseph’s position is the same one used for Joshua’s relationship to Moses (Ex. 24:13). Joseph is so beloved and trustworthy that he is left in charge of all of Potiphar’s financial matters so that the captain need only worry himself with his personal affairs (Gen. 39:6a). 

The Hebrew word for blessed (barek) means to be filled with divine favor. It is to be in a condition of favorable circumstances. This was the status of Potiphar’s household because of God’s blessing through Joseph.

Dr. R. C. Sproul states, “So great is Joseph’s success that even his pagan master can see the blessing on his life (Gen. 39:3). Indeed, God has been good to Joseph in his travails.”

John Chrysostom writes: “Grace from on high stood by him [Joseph]…and smoothed over all his difficulties.”

John Calvin explains, “We see how abundantly the grace of God is poured out on the faithful, since a portion of His kindness flows from them even to the reprobate. We are also taught what an advantage it is to receive the elect children of God to our hospitality, or to join ourselves to those whom divine favor thus accompanies, that it may diffuse its fragrance to those who are near them.”

Soli deo Gloria!

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