Post 334

Family Counselling, Part 10:

Dear Blogger,
So much has happened since I last wrote to you.
I am hoping that you received my previous letter.
In that letter, I mentioned my master, Potiphar, whom I began to serve after my brothers sold me into slavery to the Mid′ianite traders, who, in turn, sold me to Potiphar.
So much has happened since then!

I am writing to you from prison, but let me explain how I came to be here.

After I wrote to you, things improved even more for me.
Potiphar put me in charge of all of his affairs, because everything that I did was blessed by the Lord,
And all of my decisions added to the prosperity of his household.
I was watchful and diligent, and I continually considered how to improve everything for Potiphar.
I was not unhappy.
The only difficulty for me was the wife of Potiphar.
She began to notice me, and this was the beginning of my trouble.
Whenever her husband was absent, she found me.
She said to me, “Lie with me.”
She said this not once, nor twice, but many times.
Finally, I said to her, “Potiphar has placed me in charge of his entire household, and in everything he has made me equal to himself, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
But she would not relent, and it was a torment to me.
Finally, a day came when there were no servants nearby, and she took hold of my cloak to pull me towards her.
I ran out of the house, leaving behind my cloak.
I was in shock at her brazenness, but at the same time, I was relieved to have escaped.

My relief was short-lived, however, because within a few hours, I was arrested and put into prison with no chance to explain or defend myself.
It is said that I attempted to seduce the wife of my master, when the opposite is true.
When I reflect on her treachery and lies, I burn with anger, but I will not fully express my thoughts about her, out of respect for my master.
And my main thought is for him, for Potiphar, for I am grieved by the thought that he believes these lies about me. I am powerless to convince him that I am innocent, and I can only pray that somehow he discovers that he has been deceived.
I have been here for four and a half years already. It is the king’s prison.
You need not worry for me, however, because my situation is not what you would expect.
I became friends with the guards of the prison, and they began to trust me, in the way that Potiphar did.
They gave me tasks, which at first were small, but which later became more important.
I never betrayed their trust, and they found that they could trust “the Hebrew man.”
Eventually, they made me the keeper of the prison, and I manage all of the prisoners and everything needed for the prison.
I enjoy a fair amount of freedom now (hence I am able to send you this letter), and sometimes I scarcely feel like a prisoner.
In fact, in some ways, it is not entirely different from managing Potiphar’s estate.
Once again, the Lord protects me and keeps me safe.

I hope you are well.
I think often of home, and my life with my family.
Despite everything, I miss them, and I hope they are faring well.
Sometimes I have dreams that I am with them again, and that we are happy to be together.

Warmest regards,
Joseph son of Jacob