The Pitfall of Temptation

The Pitfall of Temptation
November 7, 2021

The Pitfall of Temptation

Passage: Genesis 39:1-21
Service Type:

Title: Avoiding Life's Pitfalls- The Pitfall of Temptation- Session 2 Scripture: Genesis 39:1-21
Subject: Temptation
Central Theme: Resisting Temptation

Objective Statement: We can resist the pitfall of temptation by recognizing 4 gifts God gave to Joseph.
Keyword: Gifts



  • What is your all-time favorite dessert?
  • Isn’t it hard to resist eating that when you know it is in the house?
  • It reminds me of this video I saw recently:
  • (Show the marshmallow video) Tension:
  • One of the signs of maturity is the ability to delay gratification for something better in thefuture.
  • Literally, the ability to resist temptation is a sign of maturity.
  • Tonight we are going to talk about avoiding life’s pitfalls as we study the life of Joseph, andtonight’s pitfall is (you guessed it) the pitfall of temptation.
  • There are so many dangers with falling into temptation.

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  • And Joseph, as we said, is a good subject to study because he faced all of these ptifalls and avoided them.•
  • It didn’t mean that everything was easy. But it did mean that he faced these things andGod helped him avoid these ptifalls.
  • We see in this weeks text Joseph avoid temptation. How did he do that? And how can wedo that as well?

    We can resist the pitfall of temptation by recognizing 4 gifts God gave to Joseph.

    1. God's Blessing. (v.1-7)

    Genesis 39:1-7

    (1) And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

  • For you and I this would have certainly been a tough circumstance.
  • You can imagine that it was for Joseph, too.
  • In last weeks message we studied about how Joseph was betrayed by his brothers.
  • Here we see the fruit of it.
  • He’s a slave.
  • He goes to work for an Egyptian.
  • I imagine he had to learn the language.
  • He had to adapt to the culture there.
  • He had to adjust to this new reality that He was facing of being betrayed and away from his family.
  • But notice something said in verse 2 that was a theme in the life of Joseph.
    (2) And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in thehouse of his master the Egyptian.

• The Lord was “with Joseph”.


• To the point that a pagan Egyptian master saw it.
(3) And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that

he did to prosper in his hand.

(4) And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

  • Joseph made the best of a bad situation, and yet it was God who was giving Joseph this blessing.
  • You see here the tension between our effort and God’s blessing. Joseph is choosing to conduct himself a certain way which brings about a certain result. Yet, God was also bringing about blessing through Joseph’s effort and beyond it.
  • Look at how God’s blessing spilled over into Potipher’s life.(5) And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

    (6) And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

  • All things considered- things were going well.
  • Sure, Joseph was a slave in Egypt, but it was about as good of a circumstance as that couldbe.
  • Joseph had adapted. He had learned the language. He had worked hard and been recognized by His master by being put in charge. God was blessing and He knew it.
  • Now, here came the temptation.
    (7) And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes uponJoseph; and she said, Lie with me.
  • This was a sexually forward temptation.
  • Some temptations are ancient temptations.
  • This seems relevant to us today, doesn’t it?
  • Everywhere we look in the culture there seems to be a temptation in this area.
  • Potipher’s wife notices Joseph. He is an attractive man. He had been blessed.

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• And this blessing itself was a part of why Joseph knew that he had to refuse this temptation. Look at what He says in verse 8:

(8) But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

  • Joseph is saying:
  • “Potipher trusts me so much that He doesn’t even know the details of what is happening in his own house. He trusts me implicitely. He has given everything in the house over to me to steward. I cannot violate that trusts by taking what he has clearly held back from me rightly, namely you, his wife.”
  • He recognized the human source of the blessing that he experienced and knew that he should not violate it.Application:
  • Whenever we are tempted and we are giving in to that temptation, there is a part of us that is saying to God, “I know you’ve blessed me with all of this, and that I should show my gratitude with obedience, but I’m going to do what I want anyway.”
  • God does not have to bless us.
  • If we are not careful, we can put God into a circumstance where he cannot bless us.
  • Kids Ice Cream Illustration- “I want to be a blessing. I want to partake in the blessing. Yet I can’t, because to do so would be to affirm wrongdoing in the life and character of my child.”We can resist the pitfall of temptation by recognizing 4 gifts God gave to Joseph.

    1. God's Blessing. (v.1-7)

    2. God's Presence. (v.8-10)

• Joseph continues his argument as to why he cannot give into temptation and lie with Potiphar’s wife.

Genesis 39:8-10

(9) There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

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  • At the beginning of this verse we see a continuation of the argument against temptationbecause of God’s blessings.
  • But notice what he says at the end. “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
  • Remember what it said about Joseph at the beginning of the text. “And the Lord was with Joseph”.
  • Joseph knew that God was with him.
  • Joseph knew that God had blessed him.
  • Joseph just continually acted as a person who believed that God was with him.
  • Not only did gratitude for God’s blessings inform how should respond to Potiphars wife, so did recognition of God’s presence.
  • Even if Potiphar never found out, God would know. For Joseph this was not good.
  • Joseph needed this mentality because the temptation did not relent. Look at verse 10:(10) And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
  • Notice the two points of resistance in verse 10: o To lie with hero To be with her
  • Not only did he avoid the action that would have been the violation of God’s law andPotiphars trust, he even avoided being around her at all.


  • What would our lives look like if we maintained a moment by moment awareness of God’s presence in our lives?
  • In Ephesians, the Lord tells us to “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God”. We grieve the Spirit because He is indwelling a body that sins. He is with us.
  • When we recognize that God is with us it will inform our decisions when temptation comes.


Page 6 of 10 We can resist the pitfall of temptation by recognizing 4 gifts God gave to Joseph.

1. God's Blessing. (v.1-7)

2. God's Presence. (v.8-10)

3. God's Solution. (v.11-12)

Genesis 39:11-12

(11) And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

  • Notice that it was at a particular kind of time that temptation came.
  • What was that time? When they were alone. “...and there was none of the men of thehouse there within.”
  • Let me talk about the concept of guardrails.o What is a guardrail?
    o A good guardrail that we can have in regard to sexual sin is to not be in private with

    someone of the opposite sex with someone that is not our spouse. o It isn’t a sin, but it can lead to sin.

  • Here it was a difficult moment. No witnesses. No accountability. This is when Satan can strike.(12) And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
  • Here is where Joseph demonstrated a wise and godly solution for sexual temptation.
  • Joseph fled. He ran!
  • She grabbed his outer garment, and he ran out of his outer garment.Application:

• Paul told his followers to do the same exact thing when it came to sexual temptation. 1 Corinthians 6:16-20

(16) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.


(17) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

(18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

(19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

(20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

  • There are some times we are told to fight. We are told to stand.
  • When it comes to sexual temptation, we are told to flee. Run!We can resist the pitfall of temptation by recognizing 4 gifts God gave to Joseph. 1. God's Blessing. (v.1-7)
    2. God's Presence. (v.8-10)
    3. God's Solution. (v.11-12)

    4. God's Sovereignty (v.13-21)

    Genesis 39:13-21

    (13) And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

    (14) That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

    (15) And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.

    (16) And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

    (17) And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

    (18) And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

    (19) And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

    (20) And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the

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king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

  • Here we find a woman who had been denied.
  • She had taken offense.
  • Was she “in love” with Joseph?
  • She may have confused lust for love at some point, but it is clear that it was not love.
  • If it was love she would have looked out for his best interest no matter what.
  • She accuses Joseph of doing the very thing she was tempting him to do in the first place, but worse.
  • She was accusing him of forcing himself on her.
  • She was pretending to be innocent when she was the guilty party.
  • Potiphar had no better friend than Joseph, yet he was being manipulated to be against Joseph.
  • It wasn’t a good thing for Potiphar. He was being left with a lying wife, and someone less than Joseph to run his house. There goes the blessing of God.
  • It makes me think of Proverbs 21:9 Proverbs 21:9(9) It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
  • Joseph had been betrayed by his brothers, and he had responded with making the best of it as the chief slave in Potiphar’s house. He did this because He believed that God was with him.
  • Joseph had resisted temptation with Potiphar’s wife. He had done so because He believed that God had blessed him through Potiphar, and that God was with him. Now that meant he was headed to prison.
  • Look what the scripture says:
    (21) But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in thesight of the keeper of the prison.

• But God, I don’t want favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison, because I don’t want to be in prison!

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  • God was sovereignly getting Joseph to the place that He wanted him to be so that He coulduse Joseph in ways that would have blown Joseph away if he knew them.
  • Joseph had done the right thing, and it brought about bad consequences.
  • But God was with him, and God had a plan that He was sovereignly working out.Application:
  • If we are going to resist temptation we cannot take the mindset that our decisions do not matter.
  • We cannot thing that God is punishing us for doing the right thing.
  • God has a plan, and His plan for us is always better than our plan for us.
  • We must choose to live the way that He wants us to, believing that His plan and his ways are best, even when it is difficult for us to see.
  • Laura Story performs a song called blessings that says this:We pray for blessings, we pray for peace Comfort for family, protection while we sleep We pray for healing, for prosperity
    We pray for Your mighty hand
    To ease our suffering

    And all the while, You hear each spoken need Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

    'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
    What if Your healing comes through tears?
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

    When friends betray us
    And when darkness seems to win, we know The pain reminds this heart that
    This is not, this is not our home
    It's not our home

    'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
    What if Your healing comes through tears?
    And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? What if my greatest disappointments
    Or the aching of this life
    Is the revealing of a greater thirst
    This world can't satisfy?


And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights Are Your mercies in disguise?

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• If we are going to resist the pitfalls of temptation then we must be prepared to recognize God’s gifts like Joseph did:

  • The gift of God’s blessing.
  • The gift of God’s presence.
  • The gift of God’s solution.
  • The gift of God’s sovereignty, believe his plans are best. Inspiration:
  • What would our lives look like, and how could God use us if we were brave enough to avoid the ptifalls of temptation?
  • What is at stake if we do not?

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