a. The Lord blessed Joseph. As we learned from the end of chapter 37, Moses reminds us that Joseph was taken by the Ishmaelite traders down to Egypt and was sold to the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard whose name was Potiphar. Moses writes that the Lord was with him and the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. Moses uses the name of God here to impress upon us that the God of covenants was the one behind all of this. As we read through this story, we are being continually pointed to God’s promises that he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. None of the events, the successes, and the trials are brought about solely by Joseph’s actions. Because the Lord was with Joseph, he became a successful man. God’s blessing was on Joseph and so Joseph was placed in Potiphar’s house to work and not out in the field. Joseph was a good servant and after some time Potiphar took notice. This reminds me of what Paul said in Colossians 3:22-24, “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” I think this would be a fair description of Joseph. Due to his faithful service and the blessing of God, Joseph was promoted. Instead of being a common house slave, Potiphar made him in charge of all that he had. He became the overseer or steward of the house. In ancient Egyptian monuments, the overseers were depicted recording the expenditures and labor of the house. (Ellicott) Joseph went from favorite of his father to chattel, to the overseer of one of the important households in Egypt. b. The Lord blessed Potiphar. We again return to a common theme as God blesses the unbeliever because of the believer. We saw it with Lot and Jacob and now we have it again in Joseph. Verse 5 says that the “Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.” God will cause the wicked to gain status and prosperity for the good of his children. The wealth was not an end in itself but only a means to a greater purpose. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all received wealth as a blessing from God, but the blessing of wealth was to be used for God’s purposes. When Potiphar elevates Joseph, he finds that he is blessed in his house and his fields. Wisely, Potiphar puts Joseph in charge of everything except the food that he ate which is probably due to the Egyptian belief that eating with the Hebrews was an abomination. (We find this in Genesis 43:32). We should also remember what God told Abraham, that he was to be a blessing to the nations. God is blessing the nations through Joseph.