Nightmare Job

Nightmare Job

Scripture: Genesis 39:1-23 (NRSVue)

Our Joseph story for Sunday is one about the temptations of youth, and a story of becoming a man. Joseph, in his young life, has had many lessons from the school of hard knocks. His brothers hated him because he was dad’s favorite. Now he will learn his charm can get him in trouble with women and the state. His whole life Joseph got what he wanted as the favored son. And now for the first time we see him refusing something that’s offered to him. Joseph is growing in wisdom and discretion, beginning to see his limits…and he ends up in prison for doing the right thing. Another lesson learned: we won’t always be rewarded right away for doing the right thingWe may even experience great sacrifice, hardship, and disapproval for taking the high road. Yet God is still working. God is with Joseph (and us) and is keeping the dream alive. So don’t dream it’s over, even when we’re far from the land of Promise and far from home—even in pits and prisons. We can experience God’s peace, presence, and even prosperity in the darkest moments of our lives. We can hold on to hope.


August 27, 2023 — Worship Service Bulletin (click)

  • Sermon Art: “Joseph and Wife of Potiphar/Joseph is Cast into Prison Owing to the Evil Report of Potiphar’s Wife,” French Manuscript Illumination, c. 1250.
  • All of Immanuel’s Worship Service Videos are available on our YouTube Channel.
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BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS for Genesis 39:1-23 (NRSVue)

1.    There are several themes in this story, what are they saying?

a.  Hands are mentioned seven times: what might that signify?

b.  The phrase “the Lord was with Joseph” is repeated four times. Do you notice at what points in the story this phrase is repeated. What do you think this phrase means? What does it say about God?

2.    How has the Joseph in Egypt changed compared to the Joseph in the Holy Land?

3.    Earlier in Genesis 12, God gave this promise to Abraham, “…I will bless those who bless you…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” How do we see this blessing played out in this passage?

4.    The Hebrew Scriptures rarely comment on people’s physical appearance, but here it is said Joseph is “handsome and good looking.” This same phrase is used earlier of his mother Rachel. Why do you think this is mentioned?

5.    How can the quality of our work be a blessing and a witness to others?

6.    Joseph did not let success get to his head, instead he respected appropriate sexual boundaries. Who does Joseph say would be offended if he crossed this boundary?

7.    Joseph gets some bad breaks when it comes to his clothes.

a.  How was his ornamented robe used against him by his brothers?
b.  How was his garment used against him by Potiphar’s wife?

8.   How might we grow in sexual character in our lives today? Why is this so important?

9.    Joseph ends up being falsely accused and framed for doing the right thing. Why are we not always rewarded for doing the right thing?

10.   How can we have the eyes to see that God is with us, even when we are in pits and prisons? Have you ever experienced God’s peace or even prosperity when you were in the pits or in prison?

11.   Normally punishments would be much harsher for such accusations made against Joseph, yet he only gets prison, not execution. How would you explain that?

12.   What is the main message to be gleaned from this episode in Joseph’s life?




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