Well, I beat the kids up! Finally!! No...no....no...I didn't hurt them...I got UP before they did! Usually, just as I've decided to try and get up and hour before they do....they've decided to get up with me! Argh! But this morning, HannaLee woke up and I gave her a bottle and put her back in bed. So far, so good...I'm up before the kids.
Chapter 38 We interrupt this story of Joseph to bring you an announcement from Judah and Tamar. It seems this is the first chapter so far that shows God as...hum, what's the word...deathly?....vengeful?! Judah married Shua (they married because their names rhymed! :) - not really! :) )They had several children but Er was their firstborn. But he was "wicked in the Lord's sight and put him to death" (v.7). It doesn't even say why he was wicked...he just was for some reason unknown to us. So, in compliance with tradition the brother in law was the lie with the widow to ensure the dead brother's line would continue with descendants. Onan, a brother to Er, "pretended" to lie with her. He did something that was wicked in the Lord's sight, so he was put to death also. We do know what "wicked" he did....go read! :) Verse 9 tells. Don't think I'll post it here! Ew......So, Tamar, who had married Er and was "supposed" to get pregnant by Onan, was to go lived in her father's house as a widow until ANOTHER brother showed up. She must have had to wait for a very long time for this brother, because she gave up. She took off her widow clothes and went out to act/look like a prostitute while he father-in-law was passing by. She tricked him into sleeping with her, she got pregnant, he made a promise to come back and waited for her payment from Judah....a young goat. He gave her his signet ring (kinda like a promise ring today! ha!) until he could send the goat her way. She was out for justice! Judah didn't know that she was pregnant until someone told her that had acted like a prostitute and was pregnant. He was appalled at the fact and wanted her burned to death. But then....she said, "i'm pregnant by the man who owns this..." and she should him the ring that he had given her! ah-ha! He said she was off the hook, wasn't going to get burned and he even called her "more righteous than I" (v. 26). Righteous!? Not sure trickery and prostitution equal being righteous...but hey! It's the Bible! :)
Chapter 39 Joseph and Potiphar -- This seems to be a chapter of "that's good.....oh...that's bad!" Remember, Joseph has been sold by his brothers (that's bad). Potiphar, an Egyptian that was one of Pharoah's officials, took Joseph with him and the Lord was with him and he prospered (that's good!). The Lord gave him success in everything he did. He found favor in the Lord's eyes and in Potiphar's eyes and was made an attendant to Potiphar. He was in chage of his household and all that he owned and was blessed by the Lord because of Joseph. That's good! Joseph was well built and handsome and Potiphar's wife wanted Joseph to sleep with her. That's bad. He said, no........my master trusts me and gives me everything he owns. I could not do such a wicked thing and sin against God. That's good! But Potiphar's wife kept insisting that Joseph sleep with her....she even grabbed him by his cloak and pulled it off of him (that's bad) while he was running out the door away from her (that's good!). But...she kept the cloak beside her, mad because he didn't sleep with her, and showed to her husband, Joseph's master, when he came home. She told her husband that Joseph "tried to make sport of me" (v. 17) and I screamed for help, but no one came...he even left his cloak here. So, poor Joseph, was put in prison. That's bad. But even in there, the Lord was with him and showed him kindness and favor. The warden even Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners. That's good! "The Lord was with Joseph and gave Joseph success in whatever he did!" ( v. 23) That's good!
Chapter 40 The cupbearer and the baker (and the candlestick maker?! :) )So these 2 guys are in prison, too, with Joseph. They offended Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, so he put these two yahoo's in prison. They each had dreams and had mentioned this to Joseph but they said there was no one to interpret them. Joseph said that "interpretations belong to the Lord. Tell me your dreams." (v. 8). The cupbearer tells of his dream...something about cups and grapes and branches and 3 days. Joseph told him that in three days he would be released and Joseph would appreciate it if the cupbearer would tell Pharaoh that Joseph was a good dream interpreter. He didn't. Then the baker dreamed that 3 he had three baskets of bread on his head. This meant that the baker would be hanged in three days. And he was.
Lessons today: God is with you in whatever circumstances you might find yourself in. God was continuously with Joseph......no matter what happened to him. Joseph found favor with God perhaps because he was faithful. He kept his morals and was always honorable...against his master, and ultimately towards God! May you find favor today with the Lord and look for ways to honor Him!