A little innocent boasting put Joseph on his older brothers’ hit list.

One of twelve sons born to Jacob (son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham), Joseph became his father’s favorite without even trying. He was born when Jacob was old, the son of his beloved wife Rachel, who died after giving birth to her second child, Benjamin.

After Jacob made Joseph an ornamental coat, his older sons hated the boy because their father loved him most. The family dynamics went further downhill when Joseph related his two strange dreams implying the brothers would someday bow down to him. That incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Jacob sent Joseph—just seventeen—to check on the older boys, who were off grazing sheep. They saw that annoying dreamer coming and plotted to kill him. Reuben, who seems to have had a soft spot in his heart, suggested throwing his little brother in a pit. He intended to rescue him later, but the plan changed.

Seeing a caravan of Ishmaelite merchants headed to Egypt, the brothers sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver. To explain his disappearance, they killed a young goat, dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood, and took it to their father, who concluded a beast had devoured his beloved son. Grief overwhelmed him.

The suspense escalates like a made-for-television movie. Watch these clips.

Potiphar, an officer of the king, bought Joseph and put his new servant to work in his house. He soon recognized the Lord gave the young man success in everything he did, and he placed Joseph in charge of his entire household.

Potiphar’s wife had a lust problem and went after Joseph, enticing him, “Lie with me.” Although he refused to betray his master and commit a grievous sin toward God, the woman pursued him daily.

One day when no other servants were in the house, she caught Joseph by his cloak and persisted, “Lie with me.” He ran out, leaving the garment in her hands. She showed it to her husband and lied, accusing Joseph of trying to take advantage of her.

Believing the story, Potiphar had Joseph thrown in prison; but even there, God gave him favor. The warden put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. When the pharaoh’s butler and baker landed in prison for offending the king, both had a mysterious dream the same night. Joseph—relying on God—explained the meaning: in three days, the butler would be released and restored to his position; the baker would be put to death. That’s exactly what happened.

Joseph had asked the butler to mention him to Pharaoh and get him out of prison, but he forgot (see Genesis 37-40).


Joseph prospered in prison. That happens only in the movies and the sovereignty of God. Click To Tweet

I love this story because it shows the Director’s creativity. Who knows what would have happened to Joseph if the Ishmaelite caravan hadn’t arrived? As for prospering in prison—that happens only in the movies. And the sovereignty of God.

Don’t you think it’s about time Joseph got a break? I’ve read the script, and we’re about to see an astonishing turn of events.

To be continued.

(Adapted from Cabbages and Kings–Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ)

© Dianne Barker 2019

Have you been in an impossible situation and seen the hand of God work it out? Tell me about it. And please share this with your friends!