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Summary: Second and concluding part of a Bible Study dealing with how Joseph overcame Temptation when dealing with Potiphar's wife.

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CONQUERING TEMPTATION

GENESIS 39:1-23

LAST WEEK WE BEGAN A STUDY ON TEMPTATION AND THE CONQUERING OF TEMPTATION, BY LOOKING AT THE ROOT ISSUES OF TEMPTATION.

WE DISCOVERED THAT TEMPTATION IS NOT A SIN, BUT IT CAN LEAD TO SIN. SATAN WILL APPLY TEMPTATION TO BOTH THE CHRISTIAN AND THE NON-CHRISTIAN. HE WANTS TO STEAL VICTORY FROM THE CHRISTIAN, AND MAINTAIN HIS OWNERSHIP OF THE LIVES WHO HAVE NOT MADE DECISIONS FOR CHRIST.

WE SAID THAT SATAN WAS THE MASTER DECEIVER AND THAT SOMETIMES THE VICTIMS OF HIS TEMPTATION WERE NOT THOSE HE TEMPTED, BUT THOSE WHO WOULD BE VICTIMIZED AS A RESULT OF HIS TEMPTATION.

TEMPTATION CAN COME IN MANY FORMS. SOMETIMES THE FORMS MAY LOOK VERY PROPER, AND CAN ADVANCE PERSONAL OR CORPORATE CAUSES, EVEN THE CHURCH, UNDER THE SUBTLE REALITY THAT SATAN WILL NOT CONTEST ADVANCES FOR THE CHURCH THAT ARE TEMPORARY IN NATURE, AND CAN LEAD TO DIVISION IN THE LONG RUN.

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT GENESIS CHAPTER 39 AND SEE HOW JOSEPH DEALS WITH TEMPTATION. WE WILL SEE THAT NOT YIELDING TO TEMPTATION CAN LEAD TO NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IN THIS WORLD, BUT EVENTUALLY THE PROPER CHOICE WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL.

GENESIS 39:1-6:

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. 2 THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH SO THAT HE PROSPERED, AND HE LIVED IN THE HOUSE OF HIS EGYPTIAN MASTER. 3 WHEN HIS MASTER SAW THAT THE LORD WAS WITH HIM AND THAT THE LORD GAVE HIM SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING HE DID, 4 JOSEPH FOUND FAVOR IN HIS EYES AND BECAME HIS ATTENDANT. POTIPHAR PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND HE ENTRUSTED TO HIS CARE EVERYTHING HE OWNED. 5 FROM THE TIME HE PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD AND OF ALL THAT HE OWNED, THE LORD BLESSED THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE EGYPTIAN BECAUSE OF JOSEPH. THE BLESSING OF THE LORD WAS ON EVERYTHING POTIPHAR HAD, BOTH IN THE HOUSE AND IN THE FIELD. 6 SO POTIPHAR LEFT EVERYTHING HE HAD IN JOSEPH’S CARE; WITH JOSEPH IN CHARGE, HE DID NOT CONCERN HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING EXCEPT THE FOOD HE ATE.

THERE IS AN OLD EXPRESSION, SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO GO DOWN AND HIT BOTTOM BEFORE YOU CAN BE BUILT UP, AND THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO JOSEPH AT THIS TIME. THREE TIMES IN CHAPTERS 37-39 JOSEPH DECENDS INTO TROUBLE:

1. JOSEPH WAS LOWERED INTO THE WILDERNESS CISTERN BY HIS BROTHERS. (GEN 37:24-25)

2. HE IS SOLD INTO SLAVERY AND MUST DESCEND INTO EGYPT (GEN. 37:36, 39:1)

3. HIS DESCEND INTO THE POTIPHAR’S PRISON (GEN. 39:20-23)

TWO THINGS ARE MADE CLEAR IN THIS PASSAGE. ONE IS THE COMPARISON ON DEALING WITH TEMPTATION BETWEEN JUDAH IN CHAPTER 38 AND JOSEPH IN 39. THE SECOND IS THAT THE LORD IS SOVEREIGN EVEN IN THE DIFFICULT TIMES OF LIFE.

PART OF THE LORDS PLAN AND THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY WAS FOR JOSEPH TO END UP IN A POSITION OF PROMINENCE IN EGYPT. THE DESCENTS THAT JOSEPH HAD TO MAKE WERE ALL PART OF THE METHOD GOT CHOSE TO PUT JOSEPH INTO POWER.

JOSEPH RESIDENCE IN EGYPT WOULD SIGNAL THE BEGINNING OF THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY TO ABRAHAM:

GENESIS 15:13: THEN THE LORD SAID TO HIM, “KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE STRANGERS IN A COUNTRY NOT THEIR OWN AND THAT THEY WILL BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED THERE.

THE STATEMENT “GOD WAS WITH HIM AND THE LORD GAVE HIM SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING HE DID.” WOULD BE A COMMON PHRASE IN REFERRING TO JOSEPH. THIS WOULD BE THE REAOSN THAT POTIPHAR WOULD SEE JOSEPH AS BEING SO VALUABLE. IF HE HAD JOSEPH, HE HAD THE BLESSINGS OF JOSEPH’S GOD.

JOSEPH WAS A HOUSELHOLD SERVANT AND THIS GAVE POTIPHAR FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF JOSEPH’S ABILITY, IT ALSO MADE HIM VULNERABLE TO THE SEXUAL OVERTURES OF POTIPHAR’S WIFE.

JOSEPH WAS TO OVERSEE EVERYTHING THAT POTIPHAR OWNED. HE WAS TO BE HIS ‘ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT” AS WE NOW CALL IT. WE CAN SUMMARIZE THAT GOD’S BLESSING WAS ON JOSEPH AND THE HOUSE OPERATED SMOOTHLY AND POTIPHAR INCREASED HIS HOLDINGS.

GENESIS 39:6-19:

NOW JOSEPH WAS WELL-BUILT AND HANDSOME, 7 AND AFTER A WHILE HIS MASTER’S WIFE TOOK NOTICE OF JOSEPH AND SAID, “COME TO BED WITH ME!” 8 BUT HE REFUSED. “WITH ME IN CHARGE,” HE TOLD HER, “MY MASTER DOES NOT CONCERN HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING IN THE HOUSE; EVERYTHING HE OWNS HE HAS ENTRUSTED TO MY CARE. 9 NO ONE IS GREATER IN THIS HOUSE THAN I AM. MY MASTER HAS WITHHELD NOTHING FROM ME EXCEPT YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE HIS WIFE. HOW THEN COULD I DO SUCH A WICKED THING AND SIN AGAINST GOD?” 10 AND THOUGH SHE SPOKE TO JOSEPH DAY AFTER DAY, HE REFUSED TO GO TO BED WITH HER OR EVEN BE WITH HER. 11 ONE DAY HE WENT INTO THE HOUSE TO ATTEND TO HIS DUTIES, AND NONE OF THE HOUSEHOLD SERVANTS WAS INSIDE. 12 SHE CAUGHT HIM BY HIS CLOAK AND SAID, “COME TO BED WITH ME!” BUT HE LEFT HIS CLOAK IN HER HAND AND RAN OUT OF THE HOUSE. 13 WHEN SHE SAW THAT HE HAD LEFT HIS CLOAK IN HER HAND AND HAD RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE, 14 SHE CALLED HER HOUSEHOLD SERVANTS. “LOOK,” SHE SAID TO THEM, “THIS HEBREW HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO US TO MAKE SPORT OF US! HE CAME IN HERE TO SLEEP WITH ME, BUT I SCREAMED. 15 WHEN HE HEARD ME SCREAM FOR HELP, HE LEFT HIS CLOAK BESIDE ME AND RAN OUT OF THE HOUSE.” 16 SHE KEPT HIS CLOAK BESIDE HER UNTIL HIS MASTER CAME HOME. 17 THEN SHE TOLD HIM THIS STORY: “THAT HEBREW SLAVE YOU BROUGHT US CAME TO ME TO MAKE SPORT OF ME. 18 BUT AS SOON AS I SCREAMED FOR HELP, HE LEFT HIS CLOAK BESIDE ME AND RAN OUT OF THE HOUSE.”

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