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Genesis 39:7-20

When Tempatation Comes Knocking

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • August 18, 2019

We live in a world filled with temptations and no one is exempt from being exposed. Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible declares that we can have victory over temptation because Jesus is our victory. This means that we don’t have to be slaves to sin any longer. So how can Christ’s victory become a reality in our lives?

We will discover life-changing principles from the Bible whenever temptation comes knocking, by looking at the example of Joseph. In Genesis 39, we will discover three tactics used by the enemy of our souls, Satan, to defeat us. We will also discover how Joseph was victorious against all three of Satan’s tactics.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

When Temptation Comes Knocking

Genesis 39:7-20


Matthew 10:16, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

1.We live in a world filled with temptations and no one is exempt from being exposed.

2.Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible declares that we can have victory over temptation because Jesus is our victory.

3.This means that we don’t have to be slaves to sin any longer.

4.So how can Christ’s victory become a reality in our lives? 

5.Today, we will discover life-changing principles from the Bible whenever temptation comes knocking, by looking at the example of Joseph.

a.In Genesis 39, we will discover three tactics used by the enemy of our souls, Satan, to defeat us.

b.We will also discover how Joseph was victorious against all three of Satan’s tactics. 

Genesis 39:7-20


1.Joseph was his father’s favorite son. Jacob had twelve sons and showed his favoritism when he gave Joseph a special multi-colored coat.

2.Jacob’s favoritism caused bitterness in the hearts of his other sons.

3.Ten of the brothers despised Joseph and sold him into slavery. He was taken to Egypt and ended up in the home of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.

4.Joseph had been betrayed by his own flesh and blood. It appeared that his life of favor was over.

5.It would have been so easy for Joseph to harbor unforgiveness, bitterness, and even thoughts of revenge.

6.It would have been so easy for Joseph to succumb to temptation and abandon his faith in God to live a sin-filled life because it looked like God had
abandoned him.

7.But Joseph did not do any of those things. He rose above it all and was victorious.

Transition – Let’s look at the first way the enemy tempted Joseph…

I.Tactic 1: The “Roaring Lion” (7-9)

A. “Lie with me” (7)

1. Potiphar’s wife “looked with desire at Joseph”.

a.God’s favor was on Joseph so his master, Potiphar, put everything under his charge. (5)

b.Joseph was like his mother Rachel, “handsome in form and appearance”. (6)

2.Now, Egyptian women were known for their promiscuity.

a. Potiphar’s wife was no exception to this rule.

b.She literally commanded Joseph to commit adultery.

APPL – Do not be surprised when the enemy gets in your face with temptation.

  • There are times, as we will see later, when temptation can be subtle.
  • But there are times when temptation comes like a full-court press in basketball.

1 Peter 5:8, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

  • So, we better know the answer when temptation comes knocking!

APPL – 1 John 2:16 reveals that there are three main categories of temptation.

1 John 2:16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from
the Father, but is from the world.

  • “The lust of the flesh.”
  • “The lust of the eyes.”
  • “The boastful pride of life.”

APPL – It is important to note that temptation is not sin.

Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as
we are, yet without sin.

APPL – Temptation becomes sin when we act on it.

James 1:14-15, But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth
to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Transition – What did Joseph do when Satan came at him like a roaring lion?

B. Response: Expose the evil with the light (8-9)

1. Joseph’s response is so powerful. He exposed the evil of her temptation with the light, asking, “How then could I?”

a. Joseph declared that he had been elevated to a position of authority, but it was authority with boundaries!

b. Joseph had been elevated because he had been faithful to God and to Potiphar, so how could he break that sacred trust.

c. Joseph reminded Potiphar’s wife that she was a married woman and off-limits.

d. Joseph called her adulterous temptation a “great evil”.

e. Finally, Joseph said her temptation, if acted upon, would be a “sin against God”.

o Sin is against God’s character and authority.

o Sin is against God’s love and gracious plan for our lives.

Psalm 51:4, Against You, You only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Your site, so that You are justified when You speak, and
blameless when You judge.

2. Instead of being flattered and enticed by her seductive invitation, Joseph turned on the light of God’s truth and called her temptation out for what
it was, a “great evil” and “sin against God”.

APPL – The Apostle Paul commands us to follow Joseph’s example and expose the deeds of darkness with the light.

Ephesians 5:11-13, …and do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful
even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they’re exposed by the light, for everything that
becomes visible is light.

Transition – But Satan doesn’t give up easy. If the “Roaring Lion” tactic doesn’t work, he will try something else. Look at the next tactic he used against Joseph.

II. Tactic 2: The “Wear-Down” (10)

A. “Day after day”

1.Whenever Joseph entered the house, Potiphar’s wife was there.

a.She would get herself all “dolled up” hoping that Joseph would tell her “Yes”.

b.Please keep in mind, Joseph also had to take orders from her, so it would have been difficult to avoid her.

2. It is also reasonable to assume that the nature of Potiphar’s work took him away from home often.

3. Day after day after day she tried to wear him down until she got what she wanted. She told him…

a. “We don’t love each other anymore.”

b. “Potiphar does not meet my needs.”

c. “I am lonely. Just a down next to me for a moment.”

APPL – The “Wear-Down” begins with the planting of a seed, often just a thought.

  • “It’s Friday night and I don’t want to be alone” … or
  • “It’s been a long day, and no one is home” … or
  • “Just another look” … or… “Just another text” …

Proverbs 6:27-28, Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

APPL – Here are some questions to consider when the enemy uses the “Wear-Down” tactic against you:

  • Is there a time of day when it’s harder for you to resist temptation?
  • Is it harder for you to resist temptation when you’re alone or with someone else?
  • When and where are you most likely to stumble?
  • What typically leads up to a fall?

Transition – In order to be victorious, we must be alert! Notice the two things that Joseph did to overcome the “Wear-Down” tactic of the enemy.

B. Choice 1: He “did not listen to her”

1. Joseph heard what she was saying.

2. But Joseph would not let her words sink into his heart.

3. He would not dwell on her suggestions or replay her enticements over and over again in his mind.

APPL – There are some practical things that we can do daily to prepare our hearts and minds for victory over the “Wear-Down” tactic:

  • We must pray proactively.

Mathew 6:13, And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

  • We must be diligent to guard our hearts and minds.

Proverbs 4:23, Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

  • We must take our thoughts captive.

2 Corinthians 10:5, and we are taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ

ILLUS – Satan and a can of spray paint

C. Choice 2: He wouldn’t “be with her”

1. Joseph walked with great care and wisdom.

2. He knew that Potiphar’s wife was fire!

3. Joseph also knew that repeated exposure could weaken his resolve.

ILLUS – Samson with Delilah

APPL – If you struggle with the Internet, drinking, drugs, gambling, then walk wisely and avoid repeated exposure.

  • It’s our choice.
  • We must make no provision for the fleshly lusts.

Romans 13:13-14, Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality,
not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Transition – But even after we have said “No”, or have taken our thoughts captive, or have avoided exposure to compromising situations, the enemy still has one more trick up his sleeve…

III. Tactic 3: The “Trap” (11-20)

A. “None of the men… was there inside”

1.It was no coincidence that the men of the household were nowhere to be found.

a.She probably thought Joseph would give in if the two of them were alone and there were no eyewitnesses.

b.As the woman of the house, she had the authority to clear the house. So, she did!

2.Nobody was watching! No one will know!

APPL – Solitude reveals much about a person. Who are you when no one is watching?

  • Do you linger at a channel when the subject matter is not fit or redeemed eyes?
  • When traveling alone, do you visit places which will cause you to stumble?
  • At work, do you cheat your employer when he or she is not around?

APPL – The truth is, God is watching. God knows. So, as Pastor Jon Courson once said, “We need an awareness of God’s‘thereness’.”

ILLUS – I find it interesting that so many people are concerned about their privacy on the Internet and the storing of personal information.

  • God is watching.
  • God sees. God knows.

Psalm 139:7, Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Transition – Please notice how Joseph victoriously eluded the trap…

B. Action: Joseph “fled”

1.Dangerous situations require strong responses.

2.Joseph didn’t try to reason with Potiphar’s wife.

3.Joseph took off!

APPL – There is great application for us on this point…

  • Flee, don’t flirt with temptation.

2 Timothy 2:22, Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a
pure heart.

  • Take God’s escape route.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13, Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is
common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of
escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

God is our Way of escape!

Proverbs 18:10, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.

4.For Potiphar’s wife, her last quickly turned to hatred and Joseph found himself suffering though innocent.

One Puritan preacher said, “Joseph may have lost his cloak, but he kept his character.”


APPL – The best life is the consecrated life.

  • Jesus gave us the victory but now we must submit our lives to God.

James 4:7, Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

  • But you may be thinking that it’s too late.
  • It’s never too late!
  • The Lord has promised to cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we will confess our sins.

1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  • Our God is the God of new beginnings.
  • Will tell Jesus, “Take my life!” “I am Yours!”?

Genesis 39:7-20    NASB

7 It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he refused and said to his
master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.
9 There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this
great evil and sin against God?” 10 As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. 11 Now it
happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. 12 She caught him by his garment,
saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand
and had fled outside, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he
came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. 15 When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and
went outside.” 16 So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with these words, “The Hebrew slave,
whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; 18 and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.”
Joseph Imprisoned
19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. 20 So Joseph’s
master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.


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