In Genesis 39, the Egyptian captain Potiphar had it made. Prestige, position, property, a beautiful wife, and most importantly, a slave who did it all. Who wouldn’t appreciate a servant who could run your life better than you could?
Genesis 39:2-7 (ESV) The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.
His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.
So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.
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.
Some translations read successful in verses 2 and 3; others speak of wealth, but the Genesis account is clear. God is with Joseph, and so prosperity has broken out. Potiphar had to have trusted Joseph implicitly to relinquish his own control to a slave and so quickly too. That every part of Potiphar’s holdings flourished is undeniable. Potiphar, his wife, and all of his slaves had to have known that Joseph’s presence, and so God’s presence, brought this amazing bounty to them.
Even before his wife’s false accusations left Joseph in prison, Potiphar had missed something. Perhaps he felt entitled since he had purchased Joseph for half a pound of silver. Maybe he thought he had good luck because of his prayers to his gods. Perhaps he was simply in denial. But what if he had not just rested on success? What if he had been aware of why he landed in such fortune?
I wouldn’t want to live in such ignorance, this Potipharland. I want to see God’s goodness, see him at work, to know His nature, and to fill with gratitude. Here Potiphar made a simple choice, a one-time purchase, that affected his whole household and his entire country. If he had only known.