1. A RIGHT ATTITUDE
a. How can we tell that Joseph always manifested a right attitude, regardless of what happened to him? Genesis 39:2, 23.
“Joseph did not complain at his lot, nor question why the Lord permitted him to suffer for righteousness’ sake. He did not allow any cloud of despondency to settle upon his heart. He believed in God and patiently waited for his salvation. He determined that this affliction [while in prison] should serve as an occasion to glorify God and benefit his associates.”—The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888.
b. What will others see when we have the right attitude in being faithful to God? Genesis 39:3; Matthew 5:16; 2 Corinthians 3:2.
“From the palace of the Pharaohs [Joseph’s] influence was felt throughout the land, and the knowledge of God spread far and wide.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 332.
“Joseph carried his religion everywhere, and this was the secret of his unwavering fidelity.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1097.
“The good works of God’s people have a more powerful influence than words.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 443.
2. BEING FAITHFUL
a. Why did Potiphar promote Joseph to be a ruler over his household? Genesis 39:3, 4.
“The marked prosperity which attended everything placed under Joseph’s care was not the result of a direct miracle; but his industry, care, and energy were crowned with the divine blessing. Joseph attributed his success to the favor of God, and even his idolatrous master accepted this as the secret of his unparalleled prosperity. Without steadfast, well-directed effort, however, success could never have been attained. God was glorified by the faithfulness of His servant.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 214, 217.
b. What are we instructed regarding faithfulness to our duties? Luke 16:10–12; Colossians 3:22, 23.
“The humble, common duties of life are all to be performed with fidelity; ‘heartily,’ says the apostle, ‘as to the Lord.’ Whatever our department of labor, be it housework or field work or intellectual pursuits, we may perform it to the glory of God so long as we make Christ first and last and best in everything.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 459.
“If man will discharge his duties faithfully wherever he may be, he will become a power for good. God gave Joseph favor with the keeper of the prison, and to faithful Joseph was committed the charge of all the prisoners.”—The Signs of the Times, January 8, 1880.
“Heart and soul are to be put into work of any kind; then there is cheerfulness and efficiency. . . . Faithfulness in the discharge of every duty makes the work noble, and reveals a character that God can approve.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1112.
c. How was Joseph’s faithfulness as a lowly servant finally rewarded by God? Genesis 41:41–43; Proverbs 22:29.
“A strong, well-balanced, symmetrical character is built by the thorough and faithful performance of duty. Joseph had an unblemished character, and as he was found faithful in that which was least, he was finally entrusted with the affairs of a nation.”—The Signs of the Times, May 25, 1891.
3. FROM BONDAGE TO SONSHIP, AGAIN
a. How much trust did Potiphar have in Joseph’s integrity of character? Genesis 39:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12.
“It was [God’s] purpose that in purity and uprightness the believer in God should appear in marked contrast to the worshipers of idols—that thus the light of heavenly grace might shine forth amid the darkness of heathenism.
“Joseph’s gentleness and fidelity won the heart of the chief captain, who came to regard him as a son rather than a slave.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 217.
b. What kind of influence will true men and women of God bring to those with whom they associate? Genesis 39:5; 30:27.
“As the ark of God brought rest and prosperity to Israel, so did this God-loving, God-fearing youth bring a blessing to Egypt. This was manifested in so marked a manner that Potiphar, in whose house he served, attributed all his blessings to his purchased slave, and made him a son rather than a servant. It is God’s purpose that those who love and honor His name shall be honored also themselves, and that the glory given to God through them shall be reflected upon themselves.”—The Youth’s Instructor, March 11, 1897.
c. How easy will it be to find honest, upright men and women in the last days? 2 Timothy 3:1–4. How do we know that the warning in Timothy refers to the professed people of God? 2 Timothy 3:5–9; 2 Peter 2:1–3.
“The cause of present truth is suffering for men who are loyal to a sense of right and duty, whose moral integrity is firm, and whose energy is equal to the opening providence of God. Such qualifications as these are of more value than untold wealth invested in the work and cause of God.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 23.
“When the Lord makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest, will be looked upon with pleasure. Angels are employed in making crowns for such ones, and upon these star-gemmed crowns will be reflected, with splendor, the light which radiates from the throne of God.”—Maranatha, p. 309.
4. THE SPIRIT OF A LEARNER
a. What is significant about Joseph becoming the slave of a high-ranking officer of the Egyptian army? Genesis 39:1; 41:33–37.
“Arriving in Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, captain of the king’s guard, in whose service he remained for ten years. . . .
“The youth was brought in contact with men of rank and learning, and he acquired a knowledge of science, of languages, and of affairs—an education needful to the future prime minister of Egypt.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 214, 217.
b. Name some great leaders and their previous occupations. 1 Kings 19:19–21; Exodus 3:1; Matthew 4:18, 19. Why does God often choose people who are engaged in life’s simple vocations? 1 Corinthians 1:26, 27.
“As the time comes for [the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open.”—Evangelism, pp. 699, 700.
c. How is God’s choice of workers different from a human choice? 1 Samuel 16:6–13. What is the Lord looking for? Acts 13:22; Psalm 143:10.
“The elder [sons of Jesse], from whom Samuel would have chosen, did not possess the qualifications that God saw to be essential in a ruler of His people. Proud, self-centered, self-confident, they were set aside for the one whom they lightly regarded, one who had preserved the simplicity and sincerity of his youth, and who, while little in his own sight, could be trained by God for the responsibilities of the kingdom.”—Education, p. 266.
5. GOD’S FAITHFULNESS
a. How faithful is God in His dealings with men and women? Lamentations 3:22, 23; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Revelation 19:11.
“Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? Did He forget Joseph surrounded by idolaters in Egypt? Did He forget Elijah when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the Baal prophets? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal pit of his prison house? Did He forget the three worthies in the fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions? Christ cannot forsake those who are as the apple of His eye, the purchase of His precious blood.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, pp. 445, 446.
b. What should give us confidence in God’s faithfulness to both save and direct our lives? Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 10:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:3.
“We lose many precious blessings by failing to bring our needs and cares and sorrows to our Saviour. He is the wonderful Counselor. He looks upon His church with intense interest and with a heart full of tender sympathy. He enters into the depth of our necessities. But our ways are not always His ways. He sees the result of every action, and He asks us to trust patiently in His wisdom, not in the supposedly wise plans of our own making. . . .
“Every sincere prayer that is offered is mingled with the efficacy of Christ’s blood. If the answer is deferred, it is because God desires us to show a holy boldness in claiming the pledged word of God. He is faithful who hath promised. He will never forsake the soul who is wholly surrendered to Him.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 74.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why is it important to have the right attitude as a Christian?
2. How should we conduct ourselves in whatever line of work we undertake?
3. What is the greatest witness we can give to the world?
4. What is God looking for today in the hearts of men and women?
5. How can we be assured that the Lord will never let us down?