Summary: In this sermon we learn how Joseph was able to resist the challenging temptation he faced from Potiphar's wife.
A. Let me begin by asking you: “What is it that is most tempting to you?”
1. I think it is funny to watch cats stare at a fish bowl or a bird cage – it is so representative of temptation’s attraction.
2. When I was a kid we had cats and they would sit and stare at the fish and the birds for hours.
B. I read about a 4 year-old boy named Joe, who was very well-behaved except for one little quirk – he didn’t like to wear shoes.
1. When it was time for his first Vacation Bible school, his parents told little Joe he must keep his shoes on at church.
2. Under no conditions was he to take off his shoes.
3. Little Joe nodded in agreement, but they worried about his ability to resist the temptation.
4. On the final night of VBS, their fears were relieved.
5. On display were the crafts the kids had completed during the week.
6. In one section, there were hanging up 11 plaster plaques of children’s feet prints…and one plaque of little Joe’s hand print! Good for Joe, he indeed resist temptation.
C. Today we are going to talk about a different Joe who resisted an even greater temptation than taking off his shoes.
1. Last week we spent some time trying to understand the family into which Joseph, the patriarch, was born.
2. We learned that his family was truly dysfunctional and filled with all kinds of rivalry and jealousy because of the overt favoritism shown by his father, Jacob.
3. When Joseph’s brothers were given the opportunity, they seized Joseph and sold him as a slave to a traveling band of merchants headed for Egypt.
4. They took Joseph’s richly ornamented robe, which was the symbol of his favoritism, dipped it in goat’s blood and took it to their father.
5. Jacob jumped to their desired conclusion and mourned the death of his favorite son.
6. Meanwhile, Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt.
7. That’s where we left Joseph last week, and today we want to pick up the story right there and see what happens next.
I. The Story
A. Let’s try to imagine Joseph’s situation.
1. He found himself in a country and culture he didn’t know, surrounded by people speaking a language he didn’t understand.
2. This once longed-for child of Rachel and openly favored son of Jacob had been sold as a common slave – what an awful turn of events.
B. As we pick up the story today, there are two important things that we know nothing about.
1. First, we know nothing about how much time has past.
a. We have no idea how long Joseph had been in Potiphar’s house before these events began to unfold.
b. It may have taken a little time for the cream to rise to the top.
2. Second, we know nothing about the adjustments that Joseph has had to make, nor how he managed to make them.
a. The changes and adjustments he must have faced had to have been so difficult.
C. So let’s pick up the story in Genesis 39: Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.