Finding Strength in Serving God

MEMORY SELECTION: “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” —I Corinthians 10:13


THE story of Joseph continues with his descent into Egypt as a prisoner of slave traders, and as a Semitic slave he was certainly no novelty in Egypt. As a man of handsome stature and exemplary character he soon stood out from among others. He was a responsible person and his master, to whom he had been sold as a slave, was quick to recognize his several abilities. Potiphar then placed in Joseph’s hands all of his estate, which he administered with dispatch and ability. Joseph lived up to this sign of confidence, so that he could rightly say “having me my master has no concern about any thing in the house.”—39:8, RSV

Because of his highly motivated sense of responsibility, even though he was a slave, Joseph was compelled to face temptation. His master’s wife cast her eyes upon him and desired him as a lover, but he rejected her advances, saying (39:9), “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he [his master] kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph’s resistance to Potiphar’s wife greatly angered her, and she proceeded falsely to accuse him of attempting to seduce her, even displaying a garment that he had left when he had hurriedly gone from her presence as he was going about his business in the house.

Believing his wife’s false accusations, Potiphar became very angry with Joseph and had him put into prison. There was no trial for Joseph, because slaves had no recourse to law; but he could just as easily have been killed, except for the Lord’s overruling in the matter. For the scripture tells us (39:21) that “the Lord was with Joseph, and showed mercy to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

The prison-keeper must have been favorably impressed with Joseph and his outstanding characteristics because, as the account continues (39:22,23), “the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it; the keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.”

Joseph’s faithfulness and patient endurance constitute a remarkable lesson to the spirit-begotten household of faith of the present Gospel Age. If it were possible for him to endure adversity, even though he lived before the exceeding great and precious promises of the heavenly nature and the invitation to share in the high calling were due, then how much more should those during the time when the gate to the high calling is still ajar be willing to endure for truth and righteousness?

There is a forceful lesson here to which the Lord’s people should give their attention. The Apostle Paul, in the words of our memory text, tells us that we will not be tempted beyond our ability to endure. However, the Lord may allow certain circumstances to come into our lives to test our faithfulness; and even if we are not entirely successful in overcoming the trial, there may be a valuable lesson in the matter respecting our weaknesses and the need to reexamine ourselves, ever looking to the perfect example of our Head and Forerunner. It may be that when we discover our own weaknesses as a result of a particular experience, we will become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his might. He is ever near us to succor us in our hour of special need.

Let us not forget that our Redeemer has compassion even on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. And he is abundantly able to save them who approach the Heavenly Father through the merit of his own shed blood, and through his intercession on behalf of his body members. Let us go forward with renewed determination to fight the good fight of faith!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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