A Study in the Life of Joseph : Lesson #3 Joseph Dealing with Temptation

  A Study in the Life of Joseph

 Lesson #3 Joseph Dealing with Temptation (Genesis 39:1-20)

In this lesson Joseph has been sold as a slave to Potiphar. Potiphar was an important man in Egypt. He was an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

Even though Joseph was a slave God was with him and made all that he did to prosper. Potiphar recognized this and put Joseph in charge of the entire house. Joseph handled everything and God blessed Potiphar’s house for Joseph’s sake.

The problem for Joseph came when Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph for herself. Day after day she enticed Joseph, but he never gave in. One day when she was alone in the house, she caught him by his garment, but Joseph fled out of the house leaving his garment in her hand. She cried out to the men who were outside the house and told them that Joseph had tried to rape her.

When Potiphar returned home his wife told him the lie about how Joseph tried to rape her. He believed her and had Joseph placed into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held.

Joseph has now gone from being sold by his brethren and being a slave in Egypt, to being falsely accused and put in prison. But as we will see in this study God was at work the whole time.

Joseph as a type of Jesus Christ :

1)  Joseph was brought down to Egypt (verse 1) – see Matthew 2:13-15 for Jesus.

2)  The Lord was with Joseph (verse 2) – see Acts 10:38 for Jesus.

3)  Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph (verse 3) – see John 10:41-42 for Jesus.

4)  God made what Joseph did to prosper (verse 3) – see Isaiah 53:10 for Jesus.

5)  Joseph was overseer of the house (verse 4) – see Hebrews 3:1-4 for Jesus.

6)  God blessed Potiphar’s house for Joseph’s sake (verse 5) – see Ephesians 4:32 for Jesus.

7)  Joseph was given all that Potiphar had (verse 6) – see Matthew 28:16-20 for Jesus.

8)  Joseph was tempted (verses 7-12) – see Matthew 4:1-13 for Jesus.

9)  Joseph overcame his temptation (verses 7-12) – see Matthew 4:1-13 for Jesus.

10)  Joseph was falsely accused (verse 14) – see Matthew 26:60 for Jesus.

11)  Joseph was put into prison with the king’s prisoners (verse 20) – see Isaiah 53:8 for Jesus.

What can we learn about temptation from Joseph?

In this passage we see Joseph deal with a serious temptation, yet he overcomes it with flying colors. From Joseph we can see several key things that we must do to overcome temptation.

How to overcome temptation :

1)  We must have the proper view of sin to start with (verse 9)

  • Joseph tells Potiphar’s wife that even though his master has put him in charge of everything, but he has not given her him. In this we see that even though Joseph would have been sinning against his master he did say that he would be sinning against his master.
  • Instead, Joseph said that he could not do this great sin against God.
  • We must realize that all sin is against God. And when we are tempted to sin instead of just thinking about the consequences of what might happen to us or someone else think about what we are doing regarding God.

2)  Refused the temptation (verses 7-11)

  • Here we see that no matter how many times Potiphar’s wife tried to entice him he refused.
  • We need to learn to simply say no.

3)  He fled (verse 12)

  • Sometimes we cannot avoid the temptation and in that case, it is best to simply run as fast as you can (2 Timothy 2:22).

A Study in the Life of Joseph

 Lesson #3 Joseph Dealing with Temptation (Genesis 39:1-20)


1)  What is going on in this passage concerning Joseph?

2)  List the ways that Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ in this passage?

3)  What can we learn about dealing with temptation from Joseph?