The story of Joseph (Sexual Temptation)
The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in “Genesis 39” contains some obvious lessons about fidelity in the face of sexual temptation, and there are also some subtler points to be seen about the loyal character of God.
The story seems to be dramatic:
Jacob’s Son Joseph is in Egypt, where he is Potiphar’s servant and the most trusted overseer in Potiphar’s house. His wife sees that Joseph was well built and handsome, as the bible described him, said, “Come to bed with me” (Genesis 39-6:7).
Here, we can conclude that Joseph is loyal both to Potiphar and to God. Potiphar’s wife doesn’t give up, she spoke to Joseph day after day, but he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. (vs 10), The plot of Potiphar’s wife against Joseph seems to be believable to any person that heard her story even to her husband, because she had a piece of evidence (Joseph’s cloth was with her, vs 14-15).
There is much in the story of Potiphar’s wife about resisting sexual temptation. Joseph doesn’t stand here, gazing at the woman, considering whether to give in to her demand or not.
He immediately got out of there. (Read 1 Corinthians 6:18)
One could argue that Joseph, too, paid a high price. His virtue landed him in prison, but one has only to read the rest of Genesis to see the blessings God had in store for Joseph. It is interesting to note that “Genesis 39” does not give an account about Joseph’s feelings for Potiphar’s wife.
Note: The heart of the issue is this: Potiphar’s wife promised happiness and sensual satisfaction, but Joseph saw sin, for what it is, refusing to do “this great wickedness” (Genesis 39:9).
The story of Potiphar’s wife is about Loyalty as much as it is about resisting temptation. She was disloyal to her husband, but Joseph was loyal both to Potiphar himself and to God.
The meaning of Potiphar’s wife’s name even though the African wife of Potiphar is nameless in the Old Testament, Jewish literature gave her a name, Zuleika, meaning “Seven Thrones”.
Lessons to be learnt from the story of Potiphar’s wife
1) No matter how enticing Sin looks like, don’t give in.
2) We should also learn that, even if we are treated unfairly in this life, God will never forsake his servants. (Hebrews 13:5)
3) Enduring Temptation and Trial bring Exaltation at the end.