Genesis 37 ends with a cliffhanger. We read that Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, the captain of the guards for Pharaoh. But when we turn the page and begin reading Genesis 38, it might feel as if a few pages of our Bible stuck together. We don’t read of Joseph in Potiphar’s house; instead, we read of a sordid account of Judah. And then Joseph’s story continues in Genesis 39. Why this interlude?
Remember, it was Judah who suggested the brothers sell Joseph into slavery. And yet, look at how Judah responded when Tamar provided evidence showing he was the father of the child(ren) growing inside of her. Here he doesn’t seek to maximize his gain from a situation; instead, he owns up to what he had done (v. 26). In this we find a hint that God was at work in Judah, growing him and changing him, as we will see Him do with his younger brother Joseph in Egypt. Joseph will carry our attention for the bulk of the remainder of Genesis, but we have to be careful to remember that God was not focused solely on the slave in Egypt. He was also at work in others, preparing them for their reunion a couple of decades later. Yes, God is at work in us, but not only us. He is changing us and others for His glory and our good.
For whom can you pray today that God would be working in him or her? How can you encourage this person?