The Norman Transcript

August 2, 2013

No concerns for Potiphar

By Karl Burkhardt
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A while back, a friend of mine shared that they were going through a study of Genesis, and we discussed the life of Joseph several times.

During these talks, I came across an interesting passage in Joseph’s story: “Joseph 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. From 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. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.” (Genesis 39:2-6)

My first impression was Potiphar had all the makings of a good, church-going guy — he concerned himself with eating. Just kidding. Maybe Potiphar was a workaholic, as some men tend to be. Maybe they had irregular mealtimes. Maybe this guy had a lousy kitchen staff. I don’t know … it just says “he concerned himself with nothing except the food he ate.”

As I reflected on this passage, an even subtler message began to form in my consciousness. Here’s a guy who had a man of God working for him in his home. And even though he was not a believer in God, he was able to go on with his life and living and what he needed to do or take care of or accomplish. Every day, simply because Joseph was being diligent in everything he was responsible for, Potiphar only thought about what food he would eat.

Every pastor alive dreams of serving men and women of God who have answered the call of God in their own lives to be diligent to their faith, to their families and to their Kingdom responsibilities. Men and women who would be diligent in all they do.

Paul talks about this in a letter to one group of believers: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

One last thought. God is working on an earth-changing agenda.

It is the heart desire of God our Father that the whole earth would be filled with His glory and that all men and women would come to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ, aided by the power of His Holy Spirit.

What would it look like for all Christians everywhere to be so diligent about their Father’s business that He could simply concern Himself with enjoying the praises of His people?

Are we diligent in our day-to-day dealings? Have we so concerned ourselves with our master’s purposes that He is able to go on about His business, counting on us to be successful?