Joseph checked off all the boxes then walked outside to see the hired help hurry off to work. He reached down, straightened up the mat, and headed back inside. His boss Potiphar was already gone and it would be hours before he would be home and all the other servants would join Joseph again.
Before he landed in Egypt, he was a seventeen year old junior at Canaan High. But then his brothers kidnapped him, sold him into the slave trade, and made up a story that he was mauled by a wild beast. And that’s how he ended up here. Where nobody from here knew him and nobody from home was looking for him.
As he grew up, he bulked up. Now nobody who knew him would recognize him. He hardly recognized himself. He thought about home, about his aging father and his ten betraying brothers. Suddenly, his attention was snapped back to the here and now when Potiphar’s wife advanced toward him.
He stood up out of respect for his
master’s wife, but she did not walk by him. She walked to him. When she got within arm’s reach, she reached for his hand and whispered, “Follow me, Joseph.” She turned to walk away toward her room, expecting this handsome young man to follow. Nobody else was home. Nobody would see, nobody would know. It would be her secret and his. But this young godly man, full of integrity, spoke up and said, “No.”
Joseph knew he wouldn’t just be breaking up a marriage and wrecking a home; he would be sinning against God. He wouldn’t just be disappointing his boss and losing his job, he would be disappointing his God because Joseph understood, even if I don’t know if God knows where I am, He knows where I am and He knows what I’m doing.
When the sun rose the next morning, Potiphar was gone and the servants were gathering. Joseph got them on their way and went back inside. As he pulled the door behind him, Potiphar’s wife was waiting for him. Just like yesterday, she took him by the hand and said, “Follow me, Joseph.”
But again, Joseph refused. This same scene played out day after day. After the servants left, she tempted him so he stayed out of her way. She walked this way, he walked that way. He knew her schedule, so he was able to get his work done and steer clear of the temptress.
Until one day, she would not be denied and certainly would not be ignored. After her husband was gone and the house was clear, she cornered Joseph and grabbed him by his robe. Joseph bolted out of there so fast, he bolted right out of his robe, leaving her with his robe in her hand. Now her unbridled desire spiraled to untempered rage. He had denied her. He had ignored her. Now he had spurned her.
She had had it with this holier than thou Hebrew slave. As soon as her husband came home, she ran to him and weaved a tearful tale of how Joseph tried to seduce her, but when she cried out for help, he ed, leaving his robe in her hand. And she still had the evidence in her hand to convict him. This would be a cupcake case for the prosecutor.
Joseph was a man of shining integrity. He should have been applauded. Instead, he was imprisoned. But Genesis 39 reads, “The LORD was with Joseph.” I believe the LORD was with Joseph largely because Joseph was with the LORD.
Joseph’s day is a lot like our day. Life was cheap and morality was cheaper. But when Joseph stood for God, God stood with Joseph. He still went to prison, but he did not go alone. God was with him in prison. Just because we do right doesn’t always mean everything will turn out right. Do right anyway.
When you stand toe to toe with temptation, stand rm and hold rm to your integrity. No matter who pressures you or promises you the world, hold tight to your integrity. Integrity is a gift from God this world cannot take away; you have to give
it away. But when you stand for God, you will nd out what Joseph found out—God stands with those who stand for Him.«