Great Men of the Bible Series: Joseph (Genesis 39)
Joseph was the eleventh of the twelve son’s son of Jacob. His mother was Rachel. He was a great leader, organizer, able to interpret dreams, he did not give into temptation, but most importantly, he was faithful to God. God honored the pure and holy life of Joseph. Even though it nearly cost him his life, he still continued to do God’s will.
Although most of the time it appeared Joseph was alone or neglected, God was always right beside him. Regardless of where Joseph went, or the circumstances he found himself in, the Lord was with him, and He made him to prosper. Five times the Scriptures tell us that the Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-3, 21, 23; Acts 7:9). In Genesis 39, Joseph was severely tested in the area of moral purity.
1. Joseph’s Fix (Genesis 39:1-7)
Just when Joseph prospered, was promoted and made overseer of his master’s house, he was enticed with temptation. Immediately following Joseph’s advancement in Potiphar's house, he was enticed by Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:7, 10, 12). Joseph did what every godly man should do when tempted by lust, that is run! In Matthew 4:1-11, Christ, when beginning His earthly ministry, was faced with a powerful temptation. Sin and temptation are both persistent and aggressive.
2. Joseph’s Fundamentals (Genesis 39:8-9)
Character played a crucial role in Joseph’s life. Joseph was a man of integrity. Rather than focusing on what he didn’t have, he rejoiced in what he did have.
3. Joseph’s Feud (Genesis 39:9)
Joseph identified the true motive of the offer from Potiphar’s wife. Joseph's reaction to temptation is also seen in the life of Christ, the perfect model, who saw these deceptive offers of Satan as temptation to sin. Satan’s goal was to cause Christ to sin. '...Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God' (Matthew 4:7). When in spiritual warfare with temptation it is always best to remember Matthew 22:37. Joseph was able to fight off the advances of Potiphar's wife because he wanted to please God more than he wanted to please himself. He called this kind of behavior or sin, 'a great wickedness'. If we could learn to call our temptations by their proper name we might avoid the fall into sin that so often takes hold of us. Satan knows our weaknesses, and will use the relationships of our life to constantly pressure us to do things against our conscience. That is why Christians must already have enough character and integrity within when the moment arises. It is much easier to avoid temptation that it is to resist it.
4. Joseph’s Flight (Genesis 39:10-12)
The moment came to a cruel confrontation when Potiphar’s wife’s attempted to lure him, and he ran from her, leaving his garment in her hand. During the constant pressure and temptation from which Joseph faced, he responded correctly. He ran! We are instructed to flee many things in Scripture (I Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; II Timothy 2:22). The message provides one of the great lessons of life. That is, we cannot always control life, but we can control how we respond to it. The real test of a person’s character is what one does when no one is looking. Joseph knew the reality of Proverbs 15:3.
PRAYER: Father, You know the areas of my weaknesses and You know when and how I will be tempted today and in the future. Help me to take every tempting thought captive and hand it over to You before it takes a hold of me and does harm to me or to other people. I ask for Your strength and help to resist ungodly temptations and not to give in, knowing that to do is not to glorify You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.