Genesis 39:13-23

Talks for Growing Christians

Joseph is Falsely Accused and Sent to Prison

Genesis 39:13-23

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Lesson Number 87

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s plan for the believer’s life may include false accusation.
  2. God’s plan for the believer’s life will include preparation for the future.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t jump to the conclusion that God is disciplining a Christian who is suffering.
  2. Let’s be extremely careful because of false accusations.


  1. List some of the abrupt changes in circumstances up to this point in Joseph’s life.
  2. Describe Joseph’s attitude during these abrupt changes in his circumstances. Explain why Joseph had this attitude.
  3. How does this lesson show comparisons between Joseph and Jesus?
  4. Why did God allow the unfortunate events in Joseph’s life?
  5. When a Christian suffers, is it because God is disciplining him?


  1. He was thrown into the pit by his brothers. He was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned for this accusation. He was put in charge of the other prisoners. He was made prime minister of Egypt.
  2. Joseph maintained a positive attitude because, “The Lord was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23). Joseph knew that God was working behind the scenes on his behalf despite changing events in his life.
  3. They were both falsely accused although both were totally innocent, acting as the perfect servant. Both maintained their faith in God’s sovereignty.
  4. They were a test of faith and of character. They also enabled Joseph to learn humility and patience. Joseph was being groomed to become prime minister of Egypt. He needed training in the affairs of Egypt and knowledge of the inner politics. Joseph had learned much when he managed Potiphar’s estate, but he learned about the inner workings of the government of Egypt by talking to the prisoners about the injustices of the Egyptian society. In addition, Joseph had time for reflection on God while he was in prison.
  5. Not necessarily. God can use suffering to discipline wayward Christians, but there are other causes for suffering as well.


  1. Have you ever blamed God for adverse circumstances in your life? Did Joseph blame God for his adverse circumstances? Remember to thank God for the opportunity to be tested, and look to Him for strength. See 1 Peter 2:19-20.
  2. Why should you be extremely careful to avoid false accusations?


  1. Consider your responses when circumstances change abruptly. As a believer, keep a positive attitude and trust in the sovereign God. Realize that God has a plan for your life and that He is in control. Read Jeremiah 29:11.

Key Verses

  • “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy...and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” Genesis 39:21, 23

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