The Joseph Stories: Son to Slave


This series takes a creative approach to the Joseph stories. Each day’s reflection imagines what one of the characters might have written in both their diary and their memoirs about the events in that day’s Scripture passage. While this approach sometimes requires us to “fill in the blanks” a bit with regard to what the characters are thinking and feeling, every effort has been made to stay as close to the Bible’s details as possible. The diary/memoir approach underscores how we often perceive—or don’t perceive—God’s hand in our lives.


Son to Slave

Read: Genesis 39:1-6a

The LORD was with Joseph…. (v. 2, NRSV)

If Joseph had written in his diary during that part of his service in Potiphar’s house, what might he have said? DIARY: When I first got here it was hard not to be depressed. I just couldn’t believe I was in this situation. One day I was Jacob’s favorite son, and suddenly I was Potiphar’s new slave. I missed my dad. Sometimes I even missed my stupid brothers. Most of all I missed feeling like I was someone with a bright future. And yet, things are looking up. I can’t seem to help doing my best, and Potiphar has come to rely on me completely. It’s a far cry from the life I had, but it’s enough to make me wonder if God still has plans for me.

If Joseph had written in his memoirs years after this experience, what might he have said? MEMOIR: I won’t sugar-coat it: that early time in Potiphar’s house was hard. The only thing I’d brought with me from my previous life was my faith. And yet, that faith was not unfounded. God kept nudging me to do my best—to work hard. I remembered how my dad, Jacob, had gone through so much as a young man, but with God’s help had always seemed to land on his feet. Maybe it would work out well for me, too. In retrospect, I can see that even when I felt abandoned, God was with me every step of the way.

Prayer: Help us to trust that you are with us, God, even when we feel uncertain and alone.