Summary: This is a message that will emphasize Christian Character through the life of Joseph.


TEXT: Genesis 39:1-23 W. Max Alderman

Providentially, the Lord continues to work in the life of Joseph. He is “brought down” to Egypt. The previous lesson offered commentary concerning the significance of going down. When one goes down geographically, in the Scriptures, that often is a signal of one going down spiritually. In this study Joseph is “brought down” physically but stays up spiritually. We are given a great example of how to deal with prosperity and adversity as we study the life of Joseph.


Joseph prospered because the Lord was with him. A lesson that can be learned from the life of Joseph is that God’s blessings are not dependent upon the circumstances but upon one’s relationship. Joseph was brought to the place that was within the location of God’s purpose. God was there with him all of the time. The events that took place in Potiphar’s house showed that the Lord would never leave him nor forsake him.

A. Joseph had the Lord PRESENT with him. (Vv. 1-3a)

Three times in this chapter it is stated that the Lord was with Joseph (v. 2, 21, and 23). No greater reason can be given for Joseph’s prosperity than that the Lord was with him.

B. Joseph had the Lord PROTECTING him. (Vv. 3b)

Joseph’s prosperity included protection. The protective force of God’s presence stayed with Joseph as God was providentially working in his life. While God is using a man for His purpose, and until He is through with him, that man is safe.


There is a definite reason for Joseph’s exalted position in this strange land. In addition to Joseph having God’s blessing, he is described as being “a goodly person, and well favoured.”

A. He gained his position through SERVITUDE. (V. 4a )

In the spiritual realm the highest honor for a person to obtain is to be a willing servant. Joseph certainly was this.

B. He gained the position of OVERSEER. (Vv. 4b-6)

As overseer, “the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake”; the field was also blessed. Joseph shows how one can be blessed by honoring God and being honored by God.


Even though a person does well in every way does not mean that person is immune from temptations and from traps. Satan wants to bring down and destroy anyone that is doing well in the Lord. This section records the courageous refusal of Joseph to succumb to Potiphar’s wife’s wicked requests.

A. Joseph was TEMPTED. (Vv. 7-11)

Joseph was a handsome man, and honorable as well. He was asked by Potiphar’s wife to lie with her. Verse 10 says that Joseph “harkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.” He wisely knew better than becoming even an acquaintance with her. This is a warning against unnatural friendship.

B. Joseph was TRAPPED. (Vv. 12-13)

When Joseph fled from her she held to his garment and was to use it in a lie against him. It is interesting to note that this is the second time a garment belonging to Joseph was used to perpetrate a lie about him (cf. 37:33).


A. He was SLANDERED in Public. vv. 14-19

Even though Joseph had a flawless character in the presence of Potiphar, this one lie told about him caused him to be shamefully accused and then placed in prison.

B. He was STUCK in Prison. vv. 20-23

Even though Joseph was falsely accused and placed in prison, he still found God’s blessings. He prospered even while in prison.

Closing Comments: Certainly this could very well be considered as one of the really great chapters in the Word of God. Joseph excels in all his circumstances and proves to be a man of Godly character.

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