The Lord Made It Succeed Genesis 39:1-23
In chapter 38 of Genesis, we read the story of Judah and Tamar. In the story, we learned about how God used the sinfulness of all the people in the story to bring about new life. Though God put to death Er, and Onan, he brought life from Tamar with the birth of Perez and Zerah. They become important because Jacob says to Judah that from him would come the kings that God had promised to him. Judah’s line had to continue because God had spoken. We have seen over and over again that God is a covenant-making God. He made a promise to Adam and Eve that one of Eve’s children would crush the head of the serpent. God, through subsequent covenants, developed the idea of this chosen one, this anointed one, that would reverse the curse that Adam and Eve had brought upon the universe. We have also seen over and over again that people have both intentionally and unintentionally put the covenant in jeopardy of being broken. Some were well-intentioned but used sinful means. Some were just flat-out sinning and were only thinking of themselves and would have caused the end of the line of promise. Now Joseph and his two sons would not be the line through which the Messiah would come. But, it would be through Joseph that God would bring safely Jacob and his offspring to Egypt, to begin the time of sojourning as God had promised to Abraham. God had given two dreams to Joseph to confirm that he would be a ruler over his family. Instead of waiting to see how God would bring that about, Joseph’s brothers attempted to stop the dreams and, ultimately, God from bringing this about. First, they plotted murder, then they decided to leave him for dead, and finally, they sold Joseph to a group of Ishmaelite traders. They thought that they had accomplished their goal to stop the dreams from being fulfilled. But this was God’s plan. And what he had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph must happen. No one and no sin could stop this. As we look at the chapter today, we find this familiar theme. God has his chosen people upon whom he puts his grace and blessing and that strikes jealousy and hatred amongst others. But God will use their jealousy and hatred and shame them by using it as a means to a greater blessing. In verses 1 through the first part of verse 6, we read of how Joseph went from a slave to a master. In the second half of 6 through verse 12, we find Joseph overcoming temptation. Because of Joseph’s faithfulness, he is falsely accused in verses 13-18. At the end of the chapter, Joseph finds God’s favor under persecution.