Summary: Fourth in a series on developing excellence in our Christian walk based on the life of Joseph




GENESIS 39:1-5


“Excellent” - to throw beyond the usual mark, to surpass, a throwing beyond others, beyond (out of) measure; “Way” -journey, high-way.

Definition of Spiritual Excellence: To live the journey that requires you to go beyond the usual mark of your contemporaries.

Genesis 39:1-5 - 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 and 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.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers – first to the Ishmaelites, then to Potiphar’s household. Potiphar was the Captain of the guard (vs. 1) of the chief of the military force which guarded the Palace. He is the member of a proud aristocracy, high in the office and among the court of the Pharaoh the highest ranking in the court.

Notice: The Lord was with Joseph (vs. 2); His master saw that the Lord was with him (vs. 3); Joseph found grace in his sight (Vs. 4); The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s home for Joseph’s sake (vs. 5); and Joseph was well favored (vs. 6).


A. It can be a fleeting experience:

1. Learn to be content in every situation.

Php 4:11-13 - …. I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

a. Joseph was content in this situation.

b. He held his faith in God’s ability to provide for him even when it seemed impossible.

c. He trusted God that there was a plan laid out for him.

2. He excelled in difficult circumstances.

a. His honesty and integrity earned him the respect of his master.

b. His work was marked by success.

c. He was promoted because he was found trustworthy.

d. Potiphar’s household was blessed because of Joseph’s diligence and sound character.


Genesis 39:7-12 - 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.

A. Three strikes and you’re out:

1. The woman’s invitation – “Lie with me” vs. 7

2. She spoke with Joseph day by day – yet he refused to fall prey to her seduction – vs. 10

3. She caught him by his garment, and he left his garment and ran out!

B. Note some facts concerning the temptation:

1. Unexpected – Came during a time when Joseph was prospering, well respected, and known for being a man of sound character.

2. From an unexpected source – Joseph was going about his business in the daily duty of caring for Potiphar’s house.

3. Persistence – day by day – vs 10

4. Temptation was offered in secret – There was none of the men within the house – vs. 11

C. Now see Joseph’s desire to excel in his walk before God!

1. “How can I do this sin against God?” vs 9

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