26 Life Experience (4)

The national anthem was on, and Laura was stopped in the hallway by her teacher, Miss Dimarco. After the credo and the announcements, Miss Dimarco walked toward Laura, “It’s such a surprise, Laura, you could make it to your first period class! You were always late for the last semester.” Laura looked really excited and said, “Yah, Miss, you know why? There is a new guy in our business class. Do you know Tom?” “I don’t think so, is he new to the school? What’s so special about him?” “O my xxxx, he is so hot!! He is tall and cute, smart and athletic. All the girls like him, he is the absolute motivation for us to wake up and go to our first period class, despite the fact that it’s so boring!”

Laura was having lunch at Wendy’s with her friends. Susie was asking Laura, “Did Tom talk to you today? I saw him walked by your seat and stopped for a bit, what did he say? Did he ask you to go out?” Laura chuckled, “Don’t be so sensitive, Susie, he just asked for the missed work from last Friday since he went to the swim meet. By the way, he still has no girl friend, and he hangs out with those really ‘dreary Christians’ at the youth group all the time.” “Oh, ya, did he win any medal?” Clare mumbled with her mouth stuffed with French fries. Before Laura could answer, Susie already cut in, “Obviously, look at his muscles! He got strong biceps and triceps, and his 6-pack abs as well! He got long legs too, must be extremely powerful in doing the whip kick!” “You are right,” Laura replied, “he won the overall champion last Friday. Tom is not just good in swimming, he will join the school rugby team to Europe during the summer. Only the top players could be picked to go!” Susie was really amazed, “Wow, he could join the decathlon since he is so all-rounded in sports!” “He is not just good in sports; do you know that he was invited to the Math Award Presentation next Friday?” Laura said. “Why? Did he get the Provincial Math Award as well?” Clare sounded a bit sarcastic. “No, but he came first in the Cayley Math Contest in the whole school and was ranked third in the whole region.” Laura passed on the news proudly. Suddenly Susie yelled out loud, “Laura, you are late for your rehearsal. Aren’t you supposed to be at the theatre at the second half of lunch?” “Thanks for reminding me,” Laura was packing up her stuff in a hurry and ready to run, “by the way; Tom will be singing in the musical tonight as well, there is a pretty good chance that we could be alone together.” Laura smiled sneakily and winked at both girls while she turned and left.

It was already very late at night and almost everyone has left except Mrs Parker, who was still cleaning up in the music room. Tom was the last one in the store room tidying up the props and Laura was next door in the dressing room changing. Laura screamed out of the blue and Tom rushed next door. “Are you alright, Laura?” Tom was concerned about her safety. Laura said, “There is a big fat spider on my costume, can you see?” Laura grabbed Tom’s hand and ran it down her breast, “Can you kill it for me?” “I didn’t see any spider.” Tom was puzzled and tried to retrieve his hand. “It’s OK, Tom, do you want to stay with me for a while, since it’s dark and quiet, and there is no one around?” Laura still clung on to his hand and did not let go. Tom was alarmed, this is a dirty prank! All of a sudden, God’s word flashed across his mind, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace….” Tom flung Laura onto the ground and ran away swiftly.

Your Initial Response

Have you experienced any youthful lusts? How did you control it?

Genesis 39:1–40:1

1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 

2The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 

3When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 

4Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 

5From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 

6So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 

7and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 

8But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 

9No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 

10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 

11One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 

12She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 

13When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 

14she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 

15When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 

16She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.

17Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 

18But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 

19When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 

20Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 

21the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 

22So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 

23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. 

1Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. (Genesis 39:1–40:1 NIV) 

1) “Eye” (“i=Eye”)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Draw a question mark at the place where you have difficulty of understanding.

2 Circle all the words about the presence of the Lord with Joseph.

3 Underline all the sentences about the blessings of the Lord upon Joseph.

4 Number the attributes of Joseph as a faithful servant in ascending order.

5 Fill in the blanks. No one is __________ in this house than I am. My master has withheld __________ from me except you, because you are his __________. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against __________?” Refer to other translations and come up with some new insights.

2) “Expound” (E)

iEXP Bible Study Method

Joseph was his father’s favoured son, but he was framed up by his brothers that he was enslaved in Egypt as a slave. However, whether in good times or bad times, God continued to be with Joseph that these facts were even obvious for outsiders to see.

1 Why was Joseph taken to Egypt (Genesis 39:1)?

2 What is the meaning of the presence of the Lord (Genesis 39:2)?

3 For what reasons did Joseph strongly object to commit fornication with Portiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:8-9)?

4 Why did God bless the household of Potiphar because of Joseph (Genesis 39:5)?

5 God was with Joseph whether in good times or bad times. Do you have any new inspiration?

The author devoted a lot of space to record the important matters of Joseph’s life from Genesis 37 to 50. First, the author indicated that Joseph was “The Favoured Son” (Genesis 37:1-35). After that, the author reminded us that Joseph was “The Faithful Steward” (Genesis 37:36; 39:1-20). Subsequently, the author told the readers that Joseph was being framed up by an evil and adulterous woman, making him “The Forgotten Slave” as a result (Genesis 39:21-40:23). Consequently, God exalted Joseph that he became “The Famed Statesman” in Egypt (Genesis 41:1-57). In forgiving the evil act of his brothers, the author presented to us Joseph’ “The Forgiving Saint” (Genesis 42:1-48:22). Finally, the author stated that the life of Joseph was very abundant, resembling a fruitful tree. Joseph was portrayed as “The Fruitful Tree” in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 49:1-50:26).

The father of Joseph was Jacob. Joseph was born when Jacob was ninety-one years old. When Joseph was only seventeen, he was being framed up by his brothers and taken to Egypt as a slave. From the days of a prisoner to the elevation of a governor, a scholar indicated that Joseph had already spent twenty-two years in a foreign country (Genesis 37:1-45:24).

Genesis 39:1

Joseph was first sold to the Ishmaelites as a slave and he was sold again to Potiphar. Potiphar was a prominent court official, possibly captain of the royal bodyguard.

Genesis 39:2

Although Joseph was enslaved as a slave, the Lord was with him. New American Standard Bible indicates that “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.” New International Version renders it as “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.” God was gracious to Joseph, changing his adverse circumstances to favorable circumstances.

Genesis 39:3

The presence of God with Joseph was obvious to all those who knew him and even Potiphar the pagan could perceive it clearly. As a slave, Joseph did the things that Potiphar entrusted him exceptionally well.

Genesis 39:4

Owing to the presence of God, Joseph received the favor and trust from his master: first, he received the position of attendant or personal servant. Second, he was authorised to look after all of the affairs of his master.

Genesis 39:5

In view of God’s presence, Joseph was not only promoted by his master Potiphar, but for the sake of Joseph, the Lord blessed the household and property of his master. Being promoted as a slave was not unusual, but Joseph was being favoured by his master and this was rarely seen.

Genesis 39:6a

Joseph gained Potiphar’s trust that he was entrusted with the management of all of his master’s business. In regard to these affairs, they might mean the two things below: first, all of the affairs of his master; second, all religious regulations concerning the preparation of food, which his master could not entrust to a foreigner.

Genesis 39:6b

Joseph was a handsome man. He was not only well-built but he was very good-looking as well. The author used it as a hint that foreshadowed the later development of the story, indicating the reason of the secret passion of Potiphar’s wife.

Genesis 39:7

Joseph got the trouble for his well-built body and good looks. Potiphar’s wife always looked at Joseph with lustful eyes. She was burning with passion that she desired to commit adultery with this slave.

Genesis 39:8-9

Joseph did not compromise when he faced the seductions of the master’s wife. Joseph indicated that he could not be unfaithful to his master, and also he could not sin to offend God.

Genesis 39:10

The evil and adulterous wife of Potiphar seduced Joseph everyday that her lustful desires could be satisfied. The most precious thing is that, Joseph did not give in to sins.

Genesis 39:11-12

As Joseph was working alone at her home, Potiphar’s wife grabbed the opportunity to catch Joseph by his cloak that she could possess this handsome man. For the preservation of his chastity, Joseph even left his cloak behind and fled away.

Genesis 39:13-19

As the evil plot of this woman failed, she became angry and falsely accused Joseph before her husband. Owing to the fabrication of her testimony, her husband believed it to be true and sent Joseph to the prison as a result.

Genesis 39:20

According to the customary practice of the Egyptians, they would cast the suspects into prisons until the charges against them could be investigated. Perhaps, Potiphar imprisoned Joseph for the sake of seeking evidences to accuse his servant. The prison here can be translated as a round tower or fortress, and it might be situated at Potiphar’s house or at the palace. The imprisonment of Joseph was a light punishment; perhaps, owing to the following reasons: first, Potiphar was not fully convinced of his wife’s testimony; second, as Potiphar’s trusted subordinate, Joseph received this gracious treatment; third, the Lord who keeps His covenant of love was being kind to the innocent Joseph.

Genesis 39:21-23

Even though Joseph was being framed by another evil person, the God whom he trusted did not forsake him. God treated Joseph graciously that he gained the trust of the governor of the prison or superintendent of the gaolers. Once again, God promoted Joseph in Egypt that he received the authority of caring for all of the prisoners. The author of Genesis mentioned again, Joseph became a successful person as a result of God’s presence.

Conclusion

In the pitiful encounter of Joseph, the author of the Book of Genesis mentioned many times about the presence of God with a godly person. God had not forsaken His people, meaning He was the Lord who keeps His covenant of love. One noteworthy point is that, Joseph was a faithful person who was not only loyal to his master, but followed God faithfully.

3) “Exercise” (X)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Calamities came to Joseph who was just seventeen years of age. This is a warning that teenagers should take seriously.

2 The wife of Potiphar seduced Joseph everyday but he was not affected. As we have to face the lustful seductions from all sides everyday, what should be our responses?

3 God was with Joseph whether in good or bad circumstances. What do we know about God’s presence?

4 Memorise Genesis 39:9. 

9No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

5 As for unmarried people, we should have a heart of fearing God and resolve to keep our chastity.

6 As for married couples, we should have a heart of fearing God and respecting our spouses, and resolve to keep our chastity.

7 As for men of vigor and vitality; we should be aware of the hidden lustful traps in our social circles, entertainment and hobbies.

8 As young and beautiful ladies, we should be careful about our behavior and attire so as not to make the opposite sexes’ imagination run wild.

9 God is willing to be with a person who respects Him; be holy and actively pursue a life that you can enjoy His presence.

10 We should do all we can for God and be faithful to Him in our campuses, families, communities and workplaces, so that we can witness He is with us.

11 Imitate Joseph as a faithful steward, so that our superiors, employers, companions, spouses and teachers could see our faithfulness.

4) “Proclaim” (P)

By applying the biblical truths to their lives, believers would experience God. When the Bible students experience God and His truths, they should follow the example of the early Christians of testifying to non-believers and believers boldly. By means of speech, we witness to non-believing friends and to edify believers alike. The fourth step of the iEXP Bible study is “Proclaim”.

iEXP Bible Study Method

After finished studying the text, try to apply the truths to your daily living, family life and church life, and pray that you will experience the truthfulness and power of God’s Word. Grab the opportunity to share your experience with non-believers and believers, in family altar, small groups and social gatherings, as a way of witnessing the power of the gospel to non-believers and edification of believers.

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