Trials & Temptation

Genesis 39 :1-20


Intro: We last saw Joseph in ch. 37 thrown into a pit – and then sold into Slavery - 

A)   Now imagine being 17 yrs old & from a small rural community & being – sold into slavery – taken to a foreign land./ huge city 


B)    Your whole life all you have known is country – sheep / shepherding / you have grown up very UNSOPHISTICATED.

1)                 Suddenly w/ out warning – sold to travelers like a cheap piece of merchandise & carried far away /


b)    Taken to this MONSTER CITY EGYPT – where he is sold once again as a slave to a man named Potiphar.


A)    The Changes & adjustments that Joseph faced must have been

      Phenomenal   READ V. 1-6 a



Now In our first study we noted that the pit is part of the Process to bring about the PROMISE !!!!!

A) Here is something that we need to understand – our reaction to the pit

will DETERMINE whether it stays a pit or becomes part of the PROCESS


B) You see in the Pit – you have the CHALLENGE TO either become BITTER IN THE PIT  / OR BETTER BY THE PIT.


C) Choice is up to you. -JOSEPH we see here is a MAN OF PRINCIPLE

1) Seen in 2 forms      1st   BOUNDLESS INDUSTRY


D) He is living by 2 Principles stated by Paul in the N.T. – 1Thes. 5:18   in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


And Col.3:17   And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Joseph finds himself in a tough situation & decides this must be where God wants me right now so I am going to make the best of it

A)   And God was w/ him - & He Prospered . He was blessed


B) Now being Prosperous doesn’t mean that he drove around in a fancy

   Chariot & wore gold Jewelry -   ( JOSEPH WAS A SLAVE)


C)Been said : A prosperous man is not the man who gets what he wants but

      the man who WANTS WHAT HE GETS .

1)                           He makes a Choice to be Happy w/ where he is at





How we react to the circumstances that we find ourselves in will determine – if we are going to grow BITTER / BETTER.

A)   Joseph could have said – I am not going to serve this Egyptian – we are God’s chosen People.


B)   Joseph could have also thought – God you could get me out this mess if you really wanted to since you are not – I am giving up on you God

1)                 The HECK W/ YOU – BE MY OWN MAN NOW


A)   Or Instead of looking at the Positive side of the situation / instead of trusting that God was in control

1)                 Joseph could have sat & sulked / could have been given over to wining & worrying


A)   But Joseph doesn’t do any of those things / that is not his ATTITUDE AT ALL – instead he says I will be the best slave I can be for the Lord

1)                 And the Lord caused Joseph to prosper !!!


E) Horatio Spafford – never heard of recognize


Our Attitude in a time of trial – shows where our heart is really at – and the growth that needs to take place in our lives

A) Cup Analogy -   Bump didn’t produce what was in the cup / it only

     revealed what was in the cup.


A)   If ANGER & BITTERNESS come out of the HEART / it is only because that is what was ALREADY THERE.


B)   Listen what we are called to do as Believers is to RULE OVER THE TRIAL – rather than have the TRIAL RULE OVER YOU!!!!.


D) Turn to James 1: 2  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

4  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.



Word COUNT = RULE OVER /   Rule over it w/ Joy

A) Rule over it why?   Understanding that the trial has come into your

     life to make you stronger than you already are.


B) The TRIAL is meant to spiritually grow you up / meant to build up your

      spiritual muscles / STRETCH you make you more DEPENDENT


C)Sometimes we come to study after study – taking in all this spiritual food

    & the Lord will allow a trial to come our way – get us to EXERCISE

1)                           Work out what we are Learning – so we can grow!!!!



Now the person who doesn’t rule over that trial but instead allows that Trial to rule over him – that person becomes like a bag of sand hit by flood waters

A)   Bag of sand – flexible – push it this way & that – but ever seen a bag that was in the rain – hit by the storm


B)   Once flexible – now hardened – contorted - / See people like this run into on the Grocery Isle – Stone-faced condition !!!!

1)                 Nothing wrong at that moment – but they look like there is something wrong -  ERRR ON FACE .


A)    Wonder why is he like this/ if he were to answer –say something like.      

a long time ago I was rejected & it made me bitter inside/ for that reason I have continued to look through the eyes of rejection at the rest of the world & I am not going to allow anyone to get close to me – because I don’t want to be rejected again.


B)   But if that same person would have seen their circumstance as an opportunity to grow they would have gotten Better / instead of Bitter.



That is what Joseph does here – the Lord says alright JOE / causes Joseph to prosper /

A)   Potiphar notices Joseph is prosperous / notice the Lord was w/ him – says  I like this guys I am going to put him over my whole house


B)   Listen :  Potiphar's house was blessed because Joseph was in it ! I think it should be the same way w/ us

1)                 Is the place where you work – blessed because you are there? / They love your work ETHIC – DILIGENCE


A)   Is the TEAM YOU ARE ON / THE SCHOOL YOU ATTEND blessed because you are there – Your approach.

1)                 Or are you a constant Problem


A)   Is your home – family members – blessed ………..


Now Joseph at this point doesn’t know that Moses is going to write a story on his life / ¼ of book of Genesis is going to be devoted to him

A)   He doesn’t know that in the 20th century – millions are going to be reading his story & being blessed by his integrity

B)   He doesn’t know that – you were going to be here tonight – Sept. 23,1998

Studying this Chapter about / His life

1)                 Neither do you do know who is watching you – who your integrity is going to influence & have an impact upon


C) Horatio Spafford – never heard of before



So Joseph was blessed in Potiphar's house – and having past one test He, like we so often find ourselves – will be faced w/ another test.

A)   Joseph ESTABLISHES his ATTITUDE in a time of trial – that was an important test –


B)   Now he will be establishing his AUTHENTICITY in a time of TEMPTATION .

1)                 See here that Joseph is not just a man of Boundless Industry / Man of  

      Bedrock Integrity    v. 6b- 7



 Now here we see the DIRECT APPROACH – we will see 3 of Satan’s tactics in this passage

1st Full on ATTACK /   2ND – SUBTLE APPEAL




1st the Full on Attack – it comes in the way of Potiphar's wife she comes across like a double Barreled shotgun says Lie w/ me

A)     to put that another way -  I want to have sex w/ you / Joseph I want

    you & I want you now !!!!


B)     What does Joseph do / he does what most of us would probably do in the face of such a frontal attack




C)      See Frontal attacks are not as hard to deal w/ because I can see them for what they are .

1)                   Watching T.V. -  on comes a woman w/ phone # on her leg -  Change Channel


A)      7-11 guy in front of you buys a playboy & Satan says – why don’t you get one too – No way .




V. 8   But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. "There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"


Joseph is aware of the ULTIMATE consequences of giving into such a temptation – SIN AGAINST GOD !!!!!!

A)   This is the source of his BEAUTIFUL INTEGRITY –


B)    I think the problem w/ too many Christians is they look at sin only in the form of consequences – how affect themselves / how affect others

1) That was against my wife / my husband / hurt them / hurt myself


C)    Talk to too many people who say things like I didn’t know that it was going to have that type of affect on her.

1)                 Didn’t realize that it would affect me the way it did


D) What ABOUT GOD -     We become so concerned about our Horizontal

      relationships that we forget about the VERTICAL / NO FEAR OF GOD

1)                           People so concerned about the hurt they caused to someone else or to themselves


A)    But what about the hurt that SIN  brought to God’s HEART?

Joseph saw that first – SIN AGAINST GOD -  can’t do this

A)   Joseph was doing what we really need to do – PRACTICING THE PRESCENSE OF GOD


B)   Having a constant awareness of the NEARNESS OF GOD


C)   Listen-  No one here is practicing their vice – if there is a sin you are struggling w/ - I know not doing it now

1)                 Alcohol problem – you didn’t bring a beer into Church w/ you


A)   Venture to say that no one here has dirty – pictures hidden in your bible

1)                 No one here is going to light up a joint in the middle of Bible study


E) Why ?  Because this is Church – God is here -   this is his house  

1)                           But where does he go when you get into your car – is he not at your house ? Sure He is



God is w/ you God is watching you – what ever situation you find yourself in – (  Sexual immorality – God is watching - )

A)   Angels in Heaven are watching - / Heb. 12 great cloud of witnesses watching -  great grandma - 


B)   Guys we need to PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD – develop of healthy FEAR OF GOD – what will He think ?


C)   Not only Practicing the Presence of God – PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF PEOPLE



Listen – one of the Differences for me – Pastoring a Church this large is every where I go – recognized

A)   Denny’s / Price club


B)    Vons – sometimes embarrassing – day off haven’t shaved – grubby clothes -  hey Pastor Rob


C)   Everywhere I go -  people recognize me -   Now might think that sounds like a BURDEN -  actually it is great – couldn’t sin if I wanted too

1)                   Go to the movie store – to pick up a movie for my kids – standing in line – hi pastor Rob – what movie are you renting ?


D) It is a good thing that I have Shirley Temple & the Best of Tom & Jerry in my Hand   /   not some gross Movie



Now Joseph at this point doesn’t know that Moses is going to write a story on his life / ¼ of book of Genesis is going to be devoted to him

A)   He doesn’t know that in the 20th century – millions are going to be reading his story & being blessed by his integrity


B)   He doesn’t know that – you were going to be here tonight – Sept. 23,1998

Studying this Chapter about / His life

1)                 Neither do you do know who is watching you – who your integrity is going to influence & have an impact upon


A)   Or who is going to be stumbled by your sin – and your compromise


B)   Joseph says I can’t do this sin against God !!!!! – No way – not going to hurt Him!!!!!!



So that is how Joseph handles the DIRECT ATTACK / Now lets see how he handles the SUBLTE APPEAL v.10

9       So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.


A)   Notice the phrase day by day – when the direct approach doesn’t work she tries the friendly girl – approach

a)    Day by day – placing herself in Joseph’s path – maybe at first it was /  hi Joseph – how are you today


B) Sporting outfit -   tennis clothes  want to play – /   Joseph are you hungry would you like some lunch –


C)When that doesn’t work she is going to try the Subtle Seductress - / she is

      out by the pool in her BIKINI /  Joey something to drink


A)   She comes out in her Victoria Secret Evening wear – Everyday – she is trying to get his attention- trying to impress him .

1)                 BUT WATCH WHAT JOSEPH DOES


He doesn’t heed her – he is not listening to her – nor does he want to even be around her. / Not going to Flirt w/ the Temptation

A)   He is not going to LINGER AROUND LUST - 


B)   I am not going to Listen to this / & I DON’T EVEN want to be around this !!!!!


C)   GREAT LESSON When you find that you are being tempted in the area of Lust – don’t FLIRT W/ THE TEMPTATION.


D)   Don’t have a contest w/ your mind in thinking – I wonder how far I can go before I fall .  – ABSURD


Listen the more you Linger w/ Lust – the more you flirt w/ the Temptation the more you are stimulating your senses toward that end gratification

A)   It is like being on a diet – at the mall – smell Cinnabuns - / funny you weren’t even thinking Cinnabuns – now – I want a Cinnabun


B)    While your wife goes into J.C. Penny – you tell her honey I am going to smell some Cinnabuns

1) Hello sir what would you like – just smell - /   sure don’t want – maybe a taste – I just won’t swallow .  STUPID

C)    The same thing is true as it relates to Lust – YOUNG PEOPLE LISTEN

1)                 your bodies have been made by God designed by him to enjoy a sexual REALTIONSHIP


A)    One of the Reasons why the Lord created the institution of marriage –



But here is the problem some single people approach sexual temptation like they would approach a soda machine when thirsty

A)   Sign says 75 cents -  You put in 35 cents – oh I am not going to drink I just want to see lights flash / not going to satisfy thirst


B)   Oh I am not going to get a pop I just want to put in 35 cents – / oh we are not going to have sex – just putting in 35 cents


C)   People do this – starts 10 cents – hold hands /  25 cents back rub / then another 25 cents kissing -      ( Problem not satisfying thirst )


Married people you can do the same thing – Get some extra attention from the secretary at the office – ( Nice shirt )

A)   Mind starts going – find yourself looking at her – 10 cents


B)    Talking a little more often – another 10 cents

1)                 A little hug & thanks for the good work – another 10 cents / next time frontal hug – another 20 cents


A)    Each step is another move that stimulates your sensitivity – until one day you blow it big time . /         Don’t Flirt w/ TEMPTATION


B)    Do what Joseph does he does listen to her – James 4:7 Submit to God RESIST the Devil & He will flee

1)                 RESIST = DON’T EVEN LISTEN TO


A)    Joseph says – I am not going to LISTEN to her & I am going to make it a point to not even be around her.   WISE  MAN

Notice also that Joseph doesn’t do what many today try to do He doesn’t try to Rationalize of Spiritualize this sin.

Doesn’t Rationalize  Well I am Mr. Potiphar's slave & he wants me to do a good job / when I do he is happy – he’s happy then I am happy


And Mrs. Potiphar & Mr. Potiphar are one – and she is definitely not happy right now – this seems like make her happy / he will be happy



NOR does he seek to SPIRITUALIZE


B)    You know Lord I have been wondering why you sent me here to Egypt – now I understand – it is to minister to Mrs. Potiphar

1)                 Mr. Potiphar is so busy always down in Egypt – w/ his men – he is not meeting her needs so you have sent me here to do it !!!!


C)    No way – JOSEPH DOESN’T even ENTERTAIN  such thoughts / instead he flees from it !!!!  v. 11


11  But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,

12  that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.


2 Tim. 2:22 22  Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


That is what Joseph does here – flees –   FLEA – WHY - 

A)   Interesting thing about fleas – fleas thrust w/ their back legs those little legs according to Nat. Geog. Study


B)    Thrust in Little flea legs is 11 times stronger than the space shuttle when it leaves planet earth –

1)That is what I want from the Lord – Lord give me FLEA legs Power to

    get as far away from this temptation as I possibly can !!!!

C)    Also Note – FLEA = FUGO -  LIKE THAT FOOL GO !!!!

1)                 Get out of here – or else I am going to end up a fool !!!!


A)    Flea Youthful Lust – Note this not – Flea lust when you are a youth – no it is saying lust had when young can follow you into adult hood /flee

1)                 David was 50 yrs old when he sinned w/ Bathsheba


Flee  How ?  Pursue Righteousness

A) Fellowship & Accountability !!!!



So Joseph flees here plan doesn’t work – Full on attack / Subtle appeal / so she now resorts to Strong accusation.   V. 13-18 read


A)    This is what Satan does w/ us – can’t tempt us he will seek to accuse us –


B)    Stupid Christian – saw what you did today -…………


C)    Falsely accused -  now I want to come back to this notice v. 19,20


19 19  So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to

him, saying, "Your servant did to me after this manner," that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were confined. and he was there in the prison.


Potiphar is angry – ANGRY AT WHO ?  

A)   Attempted rape was a punishable by death -  capital punishment in Egypt at that time .


B)   But He doesn’t do that – puts him in prison / See Potiphar liked Joseph – liked how his house prospered under his care


C)   Potiphar knew his wife / knew her tendencies /  but doesn’t want a scene or big embarrassment – so quietly puts Joseph in Prison.

That is where we will leave him tonight – Joseph was falsely accused & ended up in Prison.

A)   Our enemy Satan- Accuser of the Brethren – He comes seeking to accuse us & put us in the Prison of Condemnation


B)   Not always falsely – we sin everyday – he brings up the past


C)   Note this – Joseph ran from the Temptation of the Seductress woman – Jesus our Lord stood by the Adulterous woman .  Jn 8



1)                 The very FINGER THAT wrote Ex. 20 Thou shalt not ……


A)   Go & sin no more – You don’t have to live that way !!!



Repent -