I studied Genesis 39 today and I was dumbfounded by the many realities or I will say, facts of Joseph’s life that I haven’t known or given enough attention to before. I promise you will also be amazed if this is the first time you come to know those realities.
Here they are:
Do you know that Joseph worked at Potiphar’s house for 11 years? Well, do the Math: Joseph was 17 when he was sold to slavery (Genesis 37:2); he was 30 when Pharaoh promoted him to power (Genesis 41:1) and Joseph was in prison for 2-years after Potiphar’s house for the crime he didn’t commit. That means, Potiphar’s wife was pestering Joseph to sleep with her for 11 long years!
It was not like a one-time incident that Joseph came out being victorious. No! It was for 11 long years! And she was not just asking him to sleep with her only but she was also asking him just to be with her, like sit next to her and spend time flirting with her.
Who, among young men, turns down this offer? I leave that to you!
“As she [Potiphar’s wife] spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.” Genesis 39:10 NASB – “or be with her” – “just stick around with me after work” – kind of question.
Mind you, Joseph was in his early twenties. Talk about being tempted sexually, this was it! He was in the fiery furnace.
And do you know that “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance?” Genesis 39:6b Yes, he was! So, the lady laid her eyes on him and couldn’t get over his handsome look and form.
And Potiphar was “an officer of Pharaoh” (Genesis 39:1) – that means, “a eunuch of Pharaoh.” Because of his position, according to the tradition and culture of that time, he had to be castrated to be a devoted servant of the king (a eunuch). (According to enduringword, it says, “we don’t know for sure,” but very high probability given the ancient Egyptian stories.) If this is true, just think with what kind of “woman seductive” power and energy Potiphar’s wife was coming towards Joseph and that was going on for eleven long years!
And here is the other thing: When Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape, Joseph said nothing to defend himself. He said absolutely nothing! Nada! Zilch!
Isn’t that amazing?
Yes, it is and this is the story of Joseph. But I am here to tell you about the One who is greater than Joseph. He was not just tempted for 11 years but His entire 33-years of life. He was accused of list of sins He didn’t commit and He was punished for all of them. Yes, I am talking about Jesus Christ.
Jesus “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;” 1 Peter 2:22-23 NASB
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 NASB
And Jesus was tempted in all ways you and I can be tempted. He “has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15b
Wow! “yet without sin.” Praise God!
I mean, who do you relate more to: to Joseph or to Jesus?
Well, if your temptation to steal, lie, sexually sin against God, or you name it, is limited by a time-frame, like for 11-years or so, then you’re more related to Joseph than to Jesus?
I, my friend, find myself related more to Jesus than Joseph because my temptation is a lifetime temptation and in countless ways and I more times than I want to admit fail the test. But Jesus, never failed! So, I need Jesus who is just like, tempted in all ways, but unlike me, he is without sin. I need Jesus. I want Him to represent me before God. I want Him every second of my life so I will be stronger today than yesterday; so I find His grace that helps me to say “No” to ungodliness (Titus 2:11-13).
Yes, I read the story of Joseph and challenge myself to live like him, a kind of life that glorifies my Lord and Savior, but at the end of the day, I know for sure that I will disappoint my God in one or many ways. And that truth discourages me.
So, I need to comfort myself with this truth: “For we [I] do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our [my] weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are [I am], yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 NASB
“yet without sin!” – I will never be “without sin” – but I have a Shepherd who is “without sin.” May His name be praised forever!
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 NASB
Yes, it is good to learn from the life of Joseph, how to run away from sexual temptations (1 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22); but it is always good to know and remember that we have an Advocate with the Father who always pleads our cause. Aren’t you happy with that truth? I am eternally happy! ///