Joseph is now in charge of Potiphar’s household. Not too bad for a mere slave. But his promotion didn’t come alone. It came with some very intense temptation. Let’s see how Joseph handles it.
Genesis 39:6b-10 / Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and Potiphar’s wife soon noticed him. She asked him to make love to her, 8 but he refused and said, “My master isn’t worried about anything in his house, because he has placed me in charge of everything he owns. 9 No one in my master’s house is more important than I am. The only thing he hasn’t given me is you, and that’s because you are his wife. I won’t sin against God by doing such a terrible thing as this.” 10 She kept begging Joseph day after day, but he refused to do what she wanted or even to go near her.
1. Our promotions will bring with them different kinds of temptation.
2. God can promote us no matter what our status (slave) or location (foreign country) or age (young). He can put us in charge of and with access to more than we’ve earned, if we’re faithful to Him and do excellent work.
3. Our betrayal of anyone is a sin against God — not just against the people we wrong.
4. Our refusal to yield to temptation doesn’t mean the temptation will stop or even diminish.
5. As the temptation continues or increases, our tactics need to change. (Don’t listen, move away and stay away.)
Joseph’s brothers had betrayed him and I’m sure he could still remember the pain. I don’t think Joseph wanted to cause anyone that kind of hurt, so he refused to betray his master. But I don’t think that was the only reason.
And I don’t think Joseph refused simply because getting caught would cost him his position . . . possibly even his life.
Even in his current situation, and after all he’d already been through, I think Joseph still believed God had a divine purpose for his life. I also think Joseph still believed the dreams God had given him earlier in his life. And I don’t think Joseph wanted to derail them.
When our God-given dreams aren’t working out exactly like we thought they would, or it looks like it’s going to take a lot longer than we expected, we need to keep them fresh on our mind. We need to continue doing what our current position requires while continuing to focus our faith on where God is leading us. That’s a very fine line to walk . . . but Joseph is an excellent example of how to do it.
1. What different temptations have I faced as a result of being promoted?
2. When have I been tempted to betray someone?
3. When has God promoted me beyond what I deserved?
4. What has He given me access to that I haven’t earned?
5. What temptation has continued despite my refusal to yield?
6. What tactics do I need to change so I can continue to refuse the temptation?