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Brad's Blog

Why Didn’t Joseph Have A Sexual Encounter With Potiphar’s Wife?

Joseph was verbally and physically attacked by his brothers.
 
They treated him without value, selling him as a slave to slave traders.
 
The slave traders sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the Egyptian Palace Guard.
 
Potiphar’s wife took notice of Joseph, desiring a sexual encounter with him.
 
But Joseph refused.
 
Why?
 
Why did Joseph refuse to have a sexual encounter with Potiphar’s wife?
 
The reason for Joseph’s refusal is summed up in these words:

“How could I do this sinful evil against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
 
What if Joseph had developed a victim mentality because of what his brothers and the slave
traders did to him?
 
What if he had developed a “poor me” mentality?
 
What if Joseph would have become angry at God, holding God responsible for his plight in life?
 
Possibly, his outlook on life would have been much different.
 
Maybe he would have reasoned, “Why not? After all that has happened to me...after what my brothers did to me...after what God has done to me...why not have a sexual encounter with Potiphar’s wife?”
 
“My life is over...I deserve some kind of pleasure.”

But this was not how Joseph thought.
 
Joseph refused to be a victim in life.
 
Why?
 
Joseph was confident the Lord was with him and loved him.
 
Joseph possessed a love-relationship with God.
 
Because of this love-relationship, he did not hold God responsible for what his brothers did
to him.
 
This love that God had for him and he had for God enabled him to have the correct perspective on life and empowered him to make the right decisions in life.
 
This love relationship became his strength to reject the daily sexual offers of Potiphar’s wife.
 
This love-relationship gave Joseph the right view of sin.
 
Notice, Joseph did not say “No” to the sexual offer because of the commandment “Do Not Commit Adultery.”

The commandment was not his focus.
 
If so, he would have given in and succumb to temptation.
 
No, the reason Joseph said “no” to sin and “yes” to God was because of love, not law.
 
How do we know?
 
Because the Bible teaches us that law increases sin (Romans 5:20, 7:4-25) and grace (the unconditional love and kindness of God) decreases sin (Romans 6:14; Titus 2:11-14).
Joseph knew that God was gracious, compassionate, and kind.
 
The love of God drew Joseph to God where he enjoyed a love-relationship with God.
 
And it was this love-relationship that enabled him to have the right perspective on life and empowered him to make the right decisions in life.

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