As we anticipate gathering together for worship tomorrow morning and afternoon, we are reminded of the Lord's comforting declaration that "behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." We gather as the church of Jesus Christ so that we might be fed by God's Holy Word and bring praise to His holy name.
We return in our morning series to Genesis and the trial of Joseph in Egypt. One of my favourite commentaries on Genesis has been the work of Bruce Waltke and he makes two comments that are particularly insightful:
“The three stages of his rise to leadership – Potiphar's assistant, prison governor's deputy, Pharaoh's vizier – will be matched by three acknowledgments of his power by his family: ten brothers bow (42:1-38), eleven brothers bow (43:1-45:28), the entire family bows (46:1-27).” (Bruce Waltke, Genesis, p. 517)
“Judah stands in glaring contrast to Joseph. While Joseph refuses immoral sex with Potiphar's wife and is forced to leave his identifying cloak behind in order to escape, Judah welcomes the invitation of a prostitute and willingly leaves his seal and staff as a guarantee of a payment. Potiphar's wife accuses Joseph of making her a joke, but Judah actually becomes a joke. Yet Judah too is transformed by his suffering. His qualities of leadership, apparent through the story, are ultimately used to bring reconciliation to the family and to lead his father to safety in Egypt. In the end, Judah shows more sensitivity for his father than Joseph. His thoughtful and impassioned speech to Joseph allows Joseph to embrace his brothers and causes him finally to be concerned for his father's well-being.” (Waltke, 496)