Learn how Coram Deo is responding to COVID-19
Return to blog
Worship Services

Fleeing Sexual Temptation

June 7, 2020
Genesis 39
preached by
Pastor Jon Needham

Sermon text

Genesis 39

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

[1] Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. [2] The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. [3] His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. [4] So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. [5] From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. [6] So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. [7] And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” [8] But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. [9] He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” [10] And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

[11] But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, [12] she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. [13] And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, [14] she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. [15] And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” [16] Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, [17] and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. [18] But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

[19] As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. [20] And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. [21] But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. [22] And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. [23] The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed. (ESV)

Understanding the text

It is no coincidence that, while the previous chapter presented us with an example of sexual sin, this chapter provides us with an example of sexual obedience. Joseph had been sold as a slave by his insecure and jealous brothers, but God’s hand was upon Joseph. He was slowly moving him into a place where Joseph would be able to deliver his entire family, preserving all of Israel.

But in this story, Joseph finds himself as the object of Potiphar’s wife’s lustful desires. Through this chapter, we learn a number of important things. First, women are not immune to lust. Sexual perversion knows no boundaries. Second, our battle against sexual sin must be ongoing and requires a great deal of commitment and determination. Third, obedience can land us in trouble when those with power prefer perversion over holiness.

Additional scripture

  1. Genesis 4:7
  2. James 4:7
  3. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Applying the text

  1. Sexual temptation and sin is a universal reality. How have you dealt with this temptation and/or sin in your own life?
  2. What motivates Joseph to resist the temptation of sexual sin? (vs. 7-9) What principles can you apply to your own battle against sexual sin and temptation?
  3. How is Joseph treated as a result of his obedience? Why do you think this happens? (1 Peter 4:4-5).

Call to Worship

Psalm 52

[1] Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
[2] Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
[3] You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
[4] You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

[5] But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
[6] The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
[7] “See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

[8] But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
[9] I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly. (ESV)

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, You have raised Jesus from death to life, and crowned Him Lord of all. We confess that we have not bowed before Him, or acknowledged His rule in our lives. We have gone along with the ways of the world, and failed to give Him glory. Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be Your faithful people, obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who rules the world and is head of the Church, His body. In His name we pray, Amen.

Resources for Parents

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, we are suspending all physical gatherings. However, we recognize that discipleship doesn't take a break and parents still need resources and encouragement as they train up their children in the LORD. To that end, our Kids Ministry Director, Krysta Kogut, will be going live on Facebook on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 12 pm to share a short devotional time for Coram Deo's kids. We hope you can join us!


Jon is the lead pastor and founding pastor of Coram Deo Church. He and his wife live in Bremerton with their three kids. He loves spending time with his family and riding motorcycles.


Stay Connected with Email Updates

Get our weekly newsletter and other updates directly in your email inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.