Enduring Temptation

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 39:1-23

INTRODUCTION:  So often in the Bible and in daily life, we see the results of those who do not endure the temptation to sin.  Over and over again, we are warned of the dangers of temptation.  However, this story shows us one who was tempted and yet did not sin (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Joseph is an example to us all in his resistance to temptation.

  1. BLESSINGS IN BONDAGE (Genesis 39:1-6)
    1. Sold to an Officer of Pharaoh (Genesis 39:1)
      1. Joseph
        1. Brought down to Egypt
          1. Egypt is a type of the world.
          2. In the world we will have to deal with temptation.
        2. Sold as a slave
          1. Joseph had every excuse to give in to temptation.
          2. He was a slave and had no power of his own.
          3. No one would listen to him and no one would come to his aid.
          4. This makes his resistance to temptation an even greater example for us.
      2. Potiphar
        1. An officer of Pharaoh
        2. A captain of the guard
        3. An Egyptian
        4. Purchased Joseph at the hands of the Ishmeelites
    2. Prospered in His Master’s House (Genesis 39:2-3)
      1. The Lord prospered Joseph (Genesis 39:2).
      2. The master saw the Lord’s hand on Joseph (Genesis 39:3).
    3. Made Overseer over the House (Genesis 39:4-6)
      1. Joseph gets a promotion (Genesis 39:4).
        1. Joseph found grace in the sight of Potiphar.
        2. Potiphar made Joseph overseer over his house.
      2. Potiphar is blessed for Joseph’s sake (Genesis 39:5).
        1. The Lord blessed Potiphar’s house.
        2. The Lord blessed Potiphar’s field.
      3. Potiphar trusts Joseph with everything he owns (Genesis 39:6).
        1. Potiphar placed everything he owned into Joseph’s care.
        2. The only possession that Potiphar knew he had was the bread he would sit down to eat at a meal.
  2. TEMPTATION IN EGYPT (Genesis 39:7-12)
    1. Presentation (Genesis 39:7-9)
      1. The call to sin (Genesis 39:7; Proverbs 7:13)
        1. The eyes
          1. We are often tempted by what we see.
          2. We should, as much as possible, guard what we see (Psalm 101:3; Isaiah 33:15; Job 31:1).
        2. The ears – Temptation also comes through what we hear and that also should be guarded.
      2. His refusal to sin (Genesis 39:8-9)
        1. His debt to his master (Genesis 39:8-9)
        2. His debt to his God (Genesis 39:9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
    2. Continuation (Genesis 39:10)
      1. The frequency of the temptation - “day by day”
      2. The details of the temptation
        1. To lie by her
        2. To be with her
      3. Joseph refused both of these temptations on a daily basis.
    3. Situation (Genesis 39:11-12)
      1. His guard was down (Genesis 39:11).
        1. Joseph did not sin in this situation but he did not show the greatest of wisdom in allowing himself to be in the house alone with Potiphar’s wife.
        2. Not only do we need to do right, but we need to keep ourselves from situations where we can be trapped or tempted when we are weak.
      2. She trapped him (Genesis 39:12).
      3. He fled from temptation (Genesis 39:12; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22).
        1. As much as possible, we need to avoid the occasions of temptation.
        2. However, there are times when this is not possible or when we are caught in a bad situation unawares.
        3. In these cases, we need to flee as the scripture says.
  3. PERSECUTION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Genesis 39:13-20)
    1. Accusation (Genesis 39:13-18)
      1. Falsified evidence (Genesis 39:13)
        1. Joseph fled from the face of temptation and she caught his coat.
        2. Now she sees his garment in her hand and plans to use it as evidence to present her case.
      2. Falsified information (Genesis 39:14-18)
        1. Given to the men of the house (Genesis 39:14-15)
          1. Potiphar ultimately responsible for bringing Joseph into his house (Genesis 39:14)
          2. Joseph, the Hebrew, came in unto her to lie with her (Genesis 39:14).
          3. She cried with a loud voice for help (Genesis 39:14).
          4. When Joseph heard her cry out for help, he ran and accidently left his garment with her (Genesis 39:15).
        2. Given to Potiphar when he returned home (Genesis 39:16-18)
    2. Incarceration (Genesis 39:19-20)
      1. Potiphar accepts the witness of his wife against Joseph (Genesis 39:19).
        1. Note:  Potiphar heard only the testimony of his wife and reacted against Joseph.  This shows the wisdom of God when He commanded, “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15).
      2. Potiphar apprehends Joseph and places him in prison (Genesis 39:20).
        1. It is quite possible that this prison holds prisoners who have directly committed a crime against the king.  It appears to be so later when Joseph meets the butler and the baker who had been placed in prison by the king.
  4. BLESSINGS IN BONDS (Genesis 39:21-23)
    1. Given Favor Even in Prison (Genesis 39:21)
    2. Made Overseer of the Prison (Genesis 39:22-23)
      1. The keeper of the prison committed everything into Joseph’s hands (Genesis 39:22).
      2. The Lord made Joseph to prosper in all that he did (Genesis 39:23).

CONCLUSION:  Though Joseph was righteous in the matters wherein he was accused, it would appear that he did not act in complete wisdom.  Wisdom could have kept him out of the prison cell, but then again what problems could we avoid by using wisdom?  Are you keeping a hedge about yourself?  Do you flee temptation when it comes?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 5:1

My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: