Joseph has been sold for the second time. First by his brothers to the Midianite merchants and now in Egypt to Potiphar one of Pharaoh’s officials.
It is hard to imagine the trauma that must have generated within Joseph. Removed from his home, separated from his father, in a strange land, with an unknown language. Working on the assumption that he was probably only in his teens at this time it was surely enough to make him suicidal having lost all hope. No one to contact for help. No modern communications. All alone in a totally foreign environment. Except that he wasn’t!
v.2 The LORD was with Joseph
v.3 Potiphar saw that the LORD was with him
v.3 The LORD gave him success
v.5 The LORD blessed the household of Potiphar
As a result of this Joseph was left in charge of everything Potiphar had except the food he ate! V.6
He was then confronted with that most powerful of temptations – sex! If we assume that as Potiphar was Captain of Pharaoh’s Guard he was out of the house a great deal carrying out his duties and his wife was therefore often alone, then the presence of Joseph with a fine physique and good looks created a dangerous sexual environment. No timescale is given but eventually she made her advance. No beating about the bush simply ’Come to bed with me!’
The account is equally blunt as to Joseph’s response – He refused but at the same time clearly explained his reasons unashamed to state that what she asked was, for him, wicked and sin against God.
She was however, nothing but persistent, speaking to him day after day with the same plea. Causing Joseph to make the wise decision not to be anywhere with him.
But one day his duties meant that they were together and she grabbed his cloak and repeated the request ‘Come to bed with me!’ causing Joseph to run for his safety.
His unwillingness to sin against Potiphar and more importantly against God landed him in prison as Potiphar believed his wife’s trumped up story. But in prison
The LORD was with him.
What should we take for ourselves from this account?
Sexual sin is as old as mankind.
Sexual sin and indeed any sin can be resisted
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10.13
What was Joseph’s ‘way out’?
Joseph stood firm because the LORD (Yahweh) God almighty was with him.
May our walk with the LORD be such today that we live lives that honour him.