Paradise Lost – All Under Control – Temptation – Genesis 39

Paradise Lost – All Under Control – Temptation – Genesis 39



“1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate..”  (Genesis 39:1-6)


1) Get rid of the sin of self-pity

First-world problems: frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries. Sometimes also known as a “White whine”.



2) I go to work for the Lord

 “”the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”.” (Genesis 2:15)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23)



3) Give God the glory for your work.

“I cannot do it…but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” (Gen.41:16)

“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” (Genesis 39:6-7)


4) I resist temptation by finding the bigger “YES”

“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2Tim.2:22)

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1Cor.6:18)

“But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.” (Genesis 39:8-10)

 “One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.” (Genesis 39:11-14)


5) Joseph points us to Jesus


Joseph Jesus
Lives an exemplary life Y Y
Tempted to break his master’s trust Y Y
Resists temptation Y Y
Is falsely accused of crime Y Y
Is punished for a crime he didn’t commit Y Y
The guilty go free as a consequence Y Y


Our hope is not to become more like Jesus but to be forgiven because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

For more information visit What is Christianity? 321 The Story of God, the World and You:



I want to know more:

  • What is Christianity? 321 The Story of God, the World and You:
  • More on this story: From the Penthouse to the Prison: Bob Deffinaugh,
  • Book: Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (Jerry Bridges)
  • Book: The Meaning of Marriage (Tim Keller)
  • Book: Sex is not the problem, lust is (Joshua Harris)
  • Book: Disciplines of a Godly Man (R Kent Hughes)