On the negative side, Joseph had step-brothers – born to Leah – his father’s first wife of a deceitful act by his father-in-law. Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachael … the wife whom Jacob really loved.

It was the older step-brothers who really disliked Joseph and thought to kill him. Of course, God thwarted that idea … because as we say … God is both OMNISCIENT and OMNIPOTENT … and he knew what He had in store for Joseph to accomplish.

We’ve seen Joseph get sold into slavery by his step-brothers … to a caravan of Ishmaelite/Medianite slave traders and gold merchants … who dragged him off to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar the Captian of the Guard of Pharaoh’s palace.

We’ve seen his life quickly rebound. Though still a slave … Potiphar realizes that Joseph’s life is blessed by “the God of the Hebrews.” Potiphar has confidence in Joseph and also enjoys benefitting from the blessings God pours on his household too … so he makes Joseph “overseer” of all that he has.

Joseph’s riding the crest of the wave for a slave … still a slave … but also a celebrity and a man of privilege in Potiphar’s house.

If you read Genesis 39 as I asked you to do, then in verse 5 you read: “From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field.”

So BOTH Joseph and Potiphar were blessed. You can imagine how unusual this “duo” was in that day … powerful officer of Pharaoh’s court … and a young Hebrew boy as a slave.

You can understand why both these men wanted their relationship to continue … Potiphar liked the “blessings” on all he had … Joseph accepting he was a slave … likely appreciated the “good life” in Potiphar’s house. Everything seems going nicely.

Going nicely that is … until Potiphar’s wife enters the situation.

Interestingly, she’s simply known as “Potiphar’s wife” … her name isn’t mentioned. From Joseph’s point of view … her name was “trouble.”

She was a lady of privilege … she had a rich and powerful husband … a large household … an “overseer” to do all the work … and she could just be a “lady of leisure.”

Another word for “leisure” could be “idle.” Idleness can be a problem …

I think it is fair to speculate that Potiphar’s wife liked the attention of being a lady of leisure to a powerful and important man. I think we can believe that she liked all the attention she received when she accompanied her husband to formal, State and social affairs.

The problem doesn’t start when she’s out and about with her husband … It starts when she has too much “idle” time … sitting around the house with little to do … and watching Joseph attending to all the work … and doing it amazingly well.

I mentioned last week that Verse 6b tells us “Now Joesph was handsome in form and appearance.”

Joseph was diligent, godly and did not behave as a celebrity about the household … nothing was amiss from the Biblical account … it started in the sinful mind of an idle woman who decided to seduce Joseph.

Verse 7 of Chapter 39 picks up the story saying that “after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph …”

That phrase “cast her eyes” … refers to a seductive look … covetous … sexual desire-type of behavior.

We commonly … but incorrectly think of men as the sexual aggressors in life … but Potiphar’s wife demonstrates that women can also behave in this way.

She finally suggested to Joseph that she wanted him to sleep with her … again an oblique comment referring to sexual acts.

Joseph quickly refused. Also, his reply to her shows his Godly character.

“My master trusts me with everything in this household; he himself has no more authority here than I have! He has held back nothing from me except you because you are his wife. How can I do such a wicked thing as this? It would be a great sin against God.

There’s a lot in his reply for us to understand:

1 He respected his master and desired to protect the trust vested in him.

2 He understands that he has equal authority to his master about virtually everything in the household … except his master’s wife.

3 He does not want to betray his master.

4 He does not want to sin against God.

Respect is almost a lost character trait today. It is as though few have respect for others … or themselves.

Joseph makes it clear that he respects Potiphar. Joseph knows and admits that there is a bond of trust between them.

However, Joseph is not confused about WHO IS THE MASTER … and WHO IS THE SERVANT.

Sexual desire is a base emotion in mankind that brings out the worst character flaws … when they are expressed outside the will of God.

Joseph could have used the excuse that God had not yet given the ten commandments and identified adultery as a sin … but Joseph knew from his own family history that … sleeping with another man’s wife was WRONG.

Joseph’s great-grandfather Abraham and his grandfather Isaac BOTH had stories about their experiences with foreign kings when they lied about their wives … and put their wives at risk of Adultry. Pharaohs and other Kings knew you didn’t sleep with another man’s wife!

Joseph saw the opportunity to sleep with Potphar’s wife as BOTH a breach of trust … but more importantly … a sin against God.

People today need to understand Biblical sexual morality. It is a playground where Satan destroys millions of lives and casts aspersions on Christ’s church.

There is one church here in Broward County that has two of its former youth pastors in State prison for sexual offenses against under-aged girls. Another church, once the largest in Broward County had to dismiss its pastor because of adulterous behavior.

My old church … once a nationally recognized congregation … had to dismiss their new Pastor who was the grandson of Billy Graham.

Sexual sin is deadly dangerous … we must follow the example of Joseph and steer clear of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh … and the pride of life.

Quickly to conclude … Pharaoh’s wife would not accept rejection.

Verse 10: “she kept on with her suggestions day after day, even though he refused to listen, and kept out of her way as much as possible.” …

But one day, she finally had Joseph in the house … ALONE WITH HER … and “she came and grabbed him by the sleeve[a] demanding, “Sleep with me.”

Joseph pulled away … but in doing so he slipped out of the jacket to which she was holding on for dear life … and he ran.

Even … If you didn’t read Gensis 39 … you can imagine what happens next … she hysterically screams … claiming that Joseph “tried” to rape her … she blames her husband for bringing the “Hebrew slave” into the house … and you guessed it … Potiphar became enraged … fully believed her … and put Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison.

Well … in less than one chapter … we’ve seen the roller coaster ride of Joseph on his journey through life … from the top … to the bottom … not so thrilling … not enjoyable at all I’m sure …

But Joseph continues … one step at a time … to do what he believes honors His God … never complaining … never pleading his defense … just confident and trusting fully in his OMNISCIENT and OMNIPOTENT God … who knows all … directs all … to His hone and Glory.

We will be wise to avoid temptation and tempting environments as best we can. We must know and submit totally to the Law of God in all things … especially in the areas of sexual purity … trust God … take courage … and wait … for life is a roller coaster …

You may be in the depths today … but you’ll rise to the heights soon … trust God … take heart … remain obedient. AMEN.