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Scripture (5/29/22): Genesis 39: 20-23 Context is from Genesis, chapters 39-40 


Background and Interpretative Insights: 


Much of the background is included in this week’s message. Joseph has been sold to Potiphar, an official in Pharoah’s court. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph but Joseph resists. Having been rebuffed, she accuses Joseph of attacking her. Joseph is thrown into prison where, again, he proves to be faithful. And, again, his faithfulness to two other of Pharaoh’s servants is forgotten. Joseph has been righteous (good) in both Potiphar’s house and in prison. Both times, his righteousness was returned with evil. And yet, Scripture reminds us, “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor…” 


Questions to dig deeper into the text: 


  • Considering all the difficult circumstances surrounding Joseph in chapters 39-40, are there any indications of Joseph’s state of mind? What is it? What verses lead you to believe this?  

  • What indications were there that Joseph still loved God? Give verse. 

  • “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor…” As followers of Jesus, we have that same promise that God is with us. Write out the following verses. Which one speaks to you the most? 

    • Psalm 139:9-10 

    • Matthew 20:26-28 

    • John 10:27-30 

    • Romans 8:38-39 

  • How did Joseph handle the temptation to sin with Potiphar’s wife? Did his fleeing put him into better circumstances or into more difficulties? State what happened.   

  • Both Potiphar and the warden trusted Joseph to do his duty. Why did Potiphar react the way he did? Do we do the same thing? 

  • Explain what event in chapter 40 reveals Joseph’s compassion despite his imprisonment. 

  • To whom did Joseph give credit for the interpretation of dreams? Give the verse. 

  • What did Joseph ask in return for his interpretations? Was this favor kept in this chapter? Give verses. 


Questions for discussion on the significance of the text: 


  • Does this chapter in Joseph’s life impact you in a positive or negative way? Did it push any buttons in your own life or experiences? 

  • Joseph had a very rough adventure with God, yet Joseph trusted without bitterness. What rough spot in your life must you give to God and trust Him completely? Will you share with your group so that they can uphold you? 

  • Joseph is often likened to Jesus Christ. Name the ways you see similarities. Be as complete as possible. 

  • Like Joseph fleeing Potiphar, what sin do you need to flee (this could be private reflection and not group discussion)? Do you fear that if you flee, it might bring you greater difficulty? If you have given in to it, confess it and run from it.  

  • What are the gifts and challenges of the respect you have by those in authority over you? 

  • Do you think it was hard for Joseph to share the meaning of the baker’s dream with him? 

  • What hard things do you think we struggle to share about God’s word? 

  • The cupbearer forgot Joseph. Have you been forgotten? How did you handle that? Have you forgotten someone? How have you rectified that? 

  • What lesson resonates with you most in this week’s lesson? 




Note: The Bible point for our kids at this year’s VBS is “God is with you everywhere.” The Bible verse that you might want to memorize is “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

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