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THE TRIAL OF JOSEPH'S FAITH.
THE Ishmaelites took Joseph into the land of Egypt, and they sold him to a man named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, a captain of the king's guard.
But though Joseph had been taken away from his own home, and sold to be a servant, God was with him, and blessed him in all that he did ; and Joseph found favour with his master Potiphar. And he made Joseph overseer of all his house, and gave every thing that he had into Joseph's care. And when Potiphar had made Joseph overseer of his house, God blessed Potiphar for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had. And Potiphar trusted Joseph, and left all that he had in his hand.
Now the wife of Potiphar was very wicked; and when Potiphar, her husband, was away from his house, she tempted Joseph to do what was very wrong. But Joseph would not listen to her. Joseph knew, that though Potiphar might not know what he did, yet God would see him. He said, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” And he turned away and left her.
Then Potiphar's wicked wife was very angry with Joseph, and she accused him falsely to her husband. She said what was not true of Joseph; she said, that Joseph had mocked her, and wished to do her wrong. And Potiphar believed his wife, and was very angry with Joseph, and he put Joseph in prison.
Joseph had refused to sin against God, and now he was in trouble. But it was far better for Joseph to be in prison, because he would not sin, rather than to have done wrong, and remained ruler of Potiphar's house. If Joseph had sinned, he would have lost God's favour, and would have been an unhappy man, even though he had remained a great man.
God had tried Joseph's faith, and Joseph did not fail under the trial. And in the end he was greatly rewarded.
The Lord did not forsake his servant Joseph. God was with Joseph while he was in prison, and blessed him there, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison gave all the prisoners into Joseph's care, and he ruled over every thing in the prison. Joseph prospered, and was happy even in the prison. Those who love God are happy wherever they are.
Now the butler and the baker of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, were in the prison with Joseph. And one night they each dreamed a strange dream, and they wished very much to know the meaning of their dreams. Then God made Joseph able to tell them.
Joseph said that the meaning of the butler's dream was, that in three days Pharaoh would take him back to his place, and let him be his butler again. And Joseph begged the butler to remember him then, and to ask Pharaoh to take him out of prison, because he had not done any thing wrong, and had not deserved to be put in prison.
And Joseph told the baker that the meaning of his dream was, that in three days he should be hanged, and that the birds should eat his flesh.
It happened as Joseph had said. On the third day after, Pharaoh the king took the butler out of prison, and he made him to be his chief servant again. And he commanded that the baker should be hanged.
Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph. He forgot to tell Pharaoh of him; so Joseph was left still in the prison.
To accuse—to say that a man has done a thing which is wrong, is to accuse him.
To accuse falsely, is to say a thing against a person which is not true. False, means not true.
To forsake a person, is to leave him, and not to care for him.
THE REWARD OF JOSEPH'S FAITH.
Joseph remained in the prison two full years.
And at the end of the two years, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, dreamed a dream. He dreamed that he saw seven fat kine, or cows, come up out of the river, and they fed in a meadow. And seven poor
lean kine came up out of the river after them, and these seven lean kine ate
the seven fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke ; and he slept and dreamed again. He saw in his dream seven good full ears of corn grow up on one stalk, and then seven thin bad ears grew up. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven full ears. And Pharaoh awoke again.
And in the morning, Pharaoh the king was greatly troubled at his dreams. And he sent for all the wise men of Egypt, and told them his dreams, but they could not interpret them to Pharaoh. They could not tell him the meaning of his dreams.
Then the chief butler remembered how Joseph had interpreted his dream and the baker's dream in the prison, and he told the king of Joseph.
Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph. And they brought him hastily out of the prison : and Joseph changed his raiment, and came and stood before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to him, “I